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Faith in the Workplace



We can transform the environment around us by living a transformed life.
Continuing in our Take Heart series, Ben Stuart shows us how the people of Jesus are meant to conduct themselves in the workplace by doing good and learning how to suffer hardships well.

Key Takeaway

As you endure and excel, you will transform the culture. You'll embody higher ideals. You'll live a radically supernatural life within the existing structure and you will suffer, but you will be vindicated, so take heart.

How do you embody your values when you have people in power over you?

Live a radically supernatural life within the existing structure. You will suffer, but you will be vindicated. Understand the role of submission and fear.

1 Peter 2:18

  • Submit: order yourself under.
  • Slaves/Servants:  in this verse it is referencing house slaves or bondservants. This isn't the same type of slavery that we think of as Americans. Greco-Roman slavery was not based on race and it had multiple ramps into and out of it. It was meant to be a stop on the way to where you were trying to get to, not the final destination.
  • Household Code: The Greco-Romans had a belief in something called household codes; that the home was the building block of society, so what happened in it wasn't necessarily private since it would have an effect on society at large. Their mindset was more on the chauvinistic side. Peter, a Jewish man, takes the Greco-Roman belief about the home being the building block and uses it as a scaffolding to radically subvert it. If they were chauvinistic, the Christians were chivalrous. If they treated slaves as if they had no worth or value, then Christians would treat them with intrinsic value, dignity, and respect.

Peter doesn't take a full frontal assault on culture, he cuts it off at the root. Peter treats the slave as a moral agent. He gives them dignity and tells them to submit out of fear of the Lord, not fear of their authority. We don't have to cower in fear to our boss or authority either. We have been set free through the Lord, but because of the Lord, submit within human structures as we live a transformed life.

  • If you look at your boss and strip away all authority, ask yourself if they are okay or if they are condemned. If you look at them and say, "God help you.", you have found a way to show mercy, even on the evil. You don't have to fear them, you fear the Lord, which transforms our thinking to "out of respect for the Lord, I'll have respect for you".
  • Does this mean that the Believer subjects themself to every indignity? Absolutely not! Look at Joseph. Multiple times he excels where there is an overlap of cultural values, but there they cross, he won't go there. He stands his ground with grace and integrity. Peter did this. Daniel did this. They excelled where they could, but they refused to compromise. They chose to walk in righteousness and trust God with the outcome. As Believers, we don't look to pick fights, but we believe in God who leads over us. This is how you embody higher ideals.

1 Peter 2:19-20

  • When you can look at your situation and see God in it- that's gracious! That means that God is pleased with your actions, will bless you, and gives you grace in the moment. God will vindicate you. You may endure and suffer unjustly, but He will take care of you. It's not a revolution to take over the culture, it's an evolution from the ground up. Jesus said if the tree is good, the fruit will be good.
  • If you suffer for doing good: rejoice, there is a day that is being revealed and you'll be glad. If you suffer for righteousness sake, you're blessed, because His Spirit rests in you.

1 Peter 2:21

  • Jesus is our example. He chose to serve those who misunderstood and mistreated Him so He could save us. He suffered, but God took His suffering and raised Him from the dead so that His suffering is for your salvation.
  • So does this response really work or are you setting yourself up to be a victim?
  • God suffered to save you, so embrace inconvenience for the sake of your coworkers so they might see Jesus in you.
  • "Example" is hypogrammos in Greek which means to have a sturdy writing copy in grammar school that included all of the alphabet letters, it was given to young children to help them learn to write their letters. A standard copy, or the permanent copy was placed down and then a lighter sheet of paper on top and the children would follow the pattern showing through. As they traced it, they would embody the symbol. Peter uses this to drive home the point that some people may not see the actual standard, the permanent pattern, but they are going to see what you traced. So, what are you showing them? Jesus is the example, the standard; does your life match this?

1 Peter 2:22-25

  • What does this look like in real life?
  • When you suffer, you don't sin. When you are reviled, you don't revile back. You don't lie to look good. When people complain, you don't join in. When you walk according to the pattern set by Jesus, they see Him in you.


"You have been set free through the Lord, but because of the Lord, submit within human structure as you live a transformed life."

Ben Stuart

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Scripture References

  • 1 Peter 2:18-25
  • 1 Corinthians 7:20-24
  • Luke 6:27-36
  • 1 Peter 4:13-14
  • Isaiah 53
Ben Stuart Ben Stuart is the pastor of Passion City Church D.C. Prior to joining Passion City Church, Ben served as the executive director of Breakaway Ministries on the campus of Texas A&M. He also earned a master’s degree in historical theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Donna, live to inspire and equip people to walk with God for a lifetime.