"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism." Colossians 3:22-25
Before I get into an application for this passage I want to say that this passage does not endorse or condone slavery. Paul was not endorsing slavery, rather he was writing to a group of people in a flawed society. Obviously, some of the people who were part of the church at Colosse were slaves. This is an amazing point. The Gospel united people from all walks of life. Slaves were at the bottom of the social hierarchy in the Roman Empire, but in the church slave and free, landowner and peasant were equals in Christ.
Today in the world we still have slavery. It is an abomination, it is evil and I pray for the day all the captives are set free. However, most of us are not in slavery (If you are call 1-888-373-7888. That is the National Human Trafficking Hotline and they can get you help).
So, since you are likely not a slave I want to look at the passage above from the prospective of an employee. I believe that there are applications in this passage for our workdays.
1) Work with character.
Character is who you are when no one is looking. Paul would encourage today's employees to work hard, even when the boss isn't looking. We do not work only to win the favor of our boss. We must have character and we must value doing good work.
2) Remember who you work for.
We work for the Lord, not simply for men. This doesn't just apply to pastors; this applies to machinists, welders, engineers, secretaries, nurses, computer programers and even radio D.J.s. You must see Jesus standing behind your boss. When he or she gives you an assignment you must realize that you are doing it for the Lord. All things in your workplace can be done for the glory of God.
3) God will repay those who do wrong.
God does not show favoritism toward bosses. If your boss has wronged you, Jesus will repay him/her for it. You don't have to grumble and complain. You don't have to get your boss back by slacking. Jesus will take care of it. Remember, Paul is writing to slaves here. If slave masters will get what they deserve how much more will the boss that isn't paying you completely fairly. Unlike slaves, you can leave your job if you want, but unless you leave your job you are compelled to be all in because you work for God.
Our workplaces can be a pulpit. I'm not talking, necessarily, about standing up and preaching the Gospel at work. I'm talking about working in such a way that people notice a difference. Christians should be some of the best employees in the world. Work like the Gospel has affected you today.