Civil Assent at Work

Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.  Ephesians 5:21 MSG

Two and a half weeks ago we began looking at relationships through the lens of this verse.  Using a simple premise, that submission begins with just being polite, we’ve explored how that changes both our marriages and our parenting.

For the rest of this week, we’re going to take this idea outside our homes. What does this polite submission look like in our workplaces and our communities?  How does it affect our actions and attitudes toward leaders in our government and our churches?

Civil Assent …

  • Civil: (adj) adhering to the norms of polite social intercourse; not deficient in common courtesy.
  • Assent: (n) acquiescence; compliance.

We are called to comply with the authority God has placed over us – both in and out of our homes … that is a reflection of our obedience to Him.  BUT … how much greater is that reflection when we comply with civility?

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.  Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.  Ephesians 6:5-7 NIV

This verse gives us such clear instruction how we are to respond to authority over us in the workplace. While I imagine none of my readers are slaves (though it may feel as though we are at times!), these principles apply to the manner in which we approach our work nonetheless.

For me, I feel sort of “self-employed” as I pursue a writing and speaking ministry.  And I am honored to be able to stay at home as I do that.  I have many friends who are managing home businesses and others whose job is to teach their children as they homeschool.  When we accept sponsorship by companies for our blogging pursuits, we have an an obligation to them as employers.  There are standards that apply to us in all our “work” endeavors – including volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, elementary schools, etc. 

The reality is, we all have a boss. My husband is mine … though he would never call himself that.  I do, however, recognize that how I am accountable to him for how I do my “work.”

In our work, Civil Assent must have these attributes:

Respect for the boss! Even when he or she is not respectful of us.  This includes what we say about our place of employment in our Facebook status updates and tweets.   We must never speak openly – and with great caution and discernment privately – in a negative manner about our employer.  It always saddens me to read a status update when someone is demeaning their boss or place of employment.

Work hard! We are called to give our best effort to our jobs.  This does not mean that we won’t have off or bad days … but it does mean that we model a good work ethic and exhibit the highest integrity.   Please, please, please don’t be one of those people who come to work late or waste hours of your employer’s time on Facebook and then speak of your faith in God … your witness at work is not strengthened by laziness.

Do all things for your real Boss! “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men!” (v. 7)  Remember that we are working for Him.  The Great Commission tells us that we are to make disciples as we go … that means as we do our daily tasks we are to be pointing toward Him.   For those who work outside the home, you have hours every single day to be a reflection of Christ to those around you.   It’s not easy, I know!  But the reward is great.

I encourage you, be polite at work! Regardless of what your work environment is like … just be courteous.  And as you do, know that you are being obedient to the Lord.

In what ways can you apply this idea of civil assent to your work? How have you seen these principles work in your workplace?


Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I am struggling with this at the moment. I work as a mentor within my company and im getting rather fed up of going on facebook and seeing comments on my posts complaining about work. Its not proffessional and certainly doesnt help the situation.

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