Christians occupy earthly territory for the kingdom of God when they manage those places, people and things under under their authority in accordance with the will of King Jesus. As discussed in the last post, Jesus’s rule is accomplished through obedience to His will.
But doing what Jesus has called you to do in your job is only part of exercising the delegated authority of King Jesus in your workplace. Obedience must be accompanied by excellence.
Delegated authority is representative. It is representative of the person from whom it is delegated. A deputy sheriff’s authority is representative of the authority of the sheriff.
Because delegated authority is representative, its use is inevitably a reflection on the represented authority from which it is derived. The performance of the deputy sheriff is a reflection on the sheriff, just as an ambassador’s conduct is a reflection on the government she represents.
Christians are ambassadors for King Jesus. (2 Cor. 5:20). And the skill with which Christians perform their jobs is, for good or bad, a reflection of Jesus. Christians have a responsibility to truthfully represent Jesus to the world, which means performing their jobs with excellence.
God is excellent. (Exod. 15:7, Psalm 150:2, Isaiah 12:5). He is a creator of excellence. (Gen. 1:31). Jesus was excellent in all He did during His earthly ministry. (Mark 7:37). Therefore, to truthfully represent the source of their delegated authority Christians must also be excellent in what they do.
I love the scene from the movie Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell is struggling with whether to run or become a missionary and his father tells him, “You can praise God by peeling a spud if you peel it to perfection.” When you perform your job with excellence you glorify God by truthfully representing Him to a fallen, rebellious world.
There is also a very practical reason Christians must be excellent in their jobs: King Jesus wants the earthly territory of the kingdom of God run well. That will only happen when Christians perform their jobs, not only obediently to Jesus, but excellently.
Obedience and excellence are not enough though. There is one more essential to bringing the Kingdom to work. I’ll discuss that in the next post. GS