Jacob spent years working for Laban, and he was ready to move on. But he didn’t want to leave on bad terms, so he approached Laban to discuss the transition.
In the discussion described in Genesis 30:29-30, Jacob pointed out the impact his work had on Laban. His time of employment was extremely productive, and Laban benefited from it.
This can lead us to consider whether we are having a similar impact on our own bosses. Let’s ask ourselves three questions.
Are we being good stewards?
Laban’s livestock fared well under Jacob’s care. Even though they didn’t belong to him, Jacob was a good steward over the livestock to which he was entrusted. A steward is someone who manages the property of another person.
When Laban left Jacob in charge of the livestock, he knew that he had nothing to worry about. He knew that Jacob would care for them as if they were his own.
Can our bosses say the same thing about us? When we are left alone to work with a client or customer, do we give them the same respect that they would receive if they were working directly with the boss?
Are we being productive?
Productivity goes right along with stewardship. Stewards are also good managers of their time. When we are given assignments or tasks, do we complete them in a timely fashion?
Are we being efficient when we are on the company clock so that we can make the most of our time at work? Procrastination takes away from the company’s potential earnings, and that is not good stewardship.
The Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 illustrated the concept of productivity well. To summarize, a man was leaving town and entrusted his property to three of his servants. They each were given different amounts, according to their abilities. Two of the servants went to work and increased what they were given. The third servant hid his talent until his master returned.
The first two servants were commended and rewarded for their efforts. The last servant was called wicked, lazy, and worthless. His talent was taken from him, and he was thrown out.
It is important to recognize in the parable that each servant was given according to their abilities. Our bosses have a pretty good idea about what we are capable of. That’s why we were hired in the first place.
When we do what we’ve been hired to do, the company will benefit. Then, we, in turn, are rewarded for our efforts. If we are not productive, we are just as bad as the third servant in the parable – wicked, lazy, and worthless. He was thrown out, and we may also be fired for our own lack of productivity.
Are we representing God well?
Jacob commented to Laban that the Lord had blessed Laban wherever Jacob had been. Jacob didn’t take the credit for his work. He gave the glory to God and reminded Laban to do that as well. Laban acknowledged the Lord in Genesis 30:27. "But Laban said to him, ‘… I have learned by divination that the LORD has blessed me because of you.’" (NIV)
Do we get disappointed when our bosses don’t acknowledge our efforts? Are we upset when we don’t get the glory? The glory is not ours to receive. We should be representing God in all that we do.
We should aim to seek the limelight less and to put God in the spotlight more. Not only will it help us take the focus off of ourselves, but it may also help someone at work develop or renew their own relationship with God.