Beyond the family, the Christian has other social and professional involvements – a
clear recognition of the biblical view that Christians are in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-18). Consider the following three areas of daily life and discuss the Christian’s responsibilities in regard to lifestyle and behavior:
1. Employer/Employee Relations (James 5:4-6, Eph. 6:5-9). Apart from regarding employees as equals in Christ, the Christian employer must be guided by the principle that adequate work requires adequate compensation. On the other hand, Christian workers also ought to resist the temptation to be slothful at work. “Parents cannot commit a greater sin than to allow their children to have nothing to do. The children soon learn to love idleness, and they grow up shiftless, useless men and women. When they are old enough to earn their living, and find employment, they work in a lazy, droning way, yet expect to be paid as much as if they were faithful.” – Ellen G. White, Christ Object Lessons, p. 345.
2. Civic Duties (Rom. 13:1-7). The Christian places God first in all things and evaluates all actions and responsibilities from this perspective. For this reason the Christian will, for example, oppose discrimination in any form, even if it is officially sanctioned. At the same time, “loyalty to God first does not entitle anyone to become autonomous and create social disharmony or chaos. Christians pay taxes, participate in civic duties, respect traffic laws and property regulations, and cooperate with civil authorities in curbing or controlling crime and violence.” – Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology (Maryland: Review and Herald® Publishing Association, 2000), p. 701.
3. Social Responsibility (Isa. 61:1-3, Matt. 25:31-46). Discuss the following statement in the light of the passages above: “The Christian can exercise his calling to seek the kingdom of God if, motivated by love of neighbor, he carries on his work in the moral communities of family and economic, national, and political life. . . . Only by engaging in civic work for the sake of the common good, by faithfulness in one’s social calling, is it possible to be true to the example of Christ.” – H. Richard Niebuhr, Christ and Culture (HarperCollins Publishers, 1996), p. 97.
In your work and social interactions, are people able to detect your Christian values? Be honest with yourself (no matter how painful that might be!). Which aspects of your life, if any, draw people to your faith? What does your answer tell you about the way in which you live?