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Guidelines for Managers and Others in Authority

Paul’s letters have much to say to believers as we live out our faith in the work world. As he does here in Colossians 3:22-4:1, Paul usually speaks to both leaders and workers about the tough character and choices required to honor Christ in a difficult workplace environment. For example:


  • Workers deserve payment for their work (1 Cor. 9:7-14).
  • You are accountable for fair employee compensation (Col. 4:1).
  • Handle wealth very delicately (1 Tim. 6:9-10, 17-18).

Work Relationships

  • Bring your walk with Christ into each business relationship (2 Cor. 7:1).
  • Value people highly (Gal. 5:14-15; Eph. 4:31-32).
  • Treat and motivate employees with respect rather than threats (Eph. 6:5-9).
  • Have a reasonable view of yourself (Rom. 12:3).


  • Accusations must be verified (Matt. 18:15-35; 2 Cor. 13:1; 1 Tim. 5:19).
  • Communication should always be gracious and truthful (Col. 4:6).


  • Fulfill your commitments (Rom. 13:6-8).
  • Remember your accountability (1 Cor. 3:9-15).
  • Care for the poor and the weak (Rom. 12:13; Gal. 2:10).
  • Learn how to handle times of bounty and leanness (Phil. 4:12).
  • Remember, God’s Son gets the ultimate credit (Col. 1:17-18).
  • Be sure to care for your own family (1 Tim. 5:8).
  • Discern needs and meet them (Titus 3:14).
  • Management
  • View time not only in terms of time management, but also in light of the long-term implications of your decisions (2 Cor. 4:16-18; 2 Pet. 3:8-13).
  • Help each employee discern the best thing to do (1 Thess. 5:14-15).
  • Be willing to change your opinions (2 Cor. 5:16-17; Philem. 10-14).

The Word in Life Study Bible, New Testament Edition, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville; 1993), p. 706.

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