Jehoshaphat was a reformer, and one of the main means of reform he brought was his appointment of judges.
But it wasn’t just the appointment of judges that brought reform but the implementation of the instructions Jehoshaphat gave to them. See 2 Chron. 19:6-9. What is important to note is the job of a judge is essentially “secular,” and Jehoshaphat’s instructions are generally applicable to any non-ministry position.
The first thing Jehoshaphat told the judges, and what initially grabbed my attention from this passage was the instruction, “Consider what you are doing. . . .” (2 Chron. 19:6).
How many people go through the motions at their job, punching a time clock, collecting their pay, never considering the significance of what they are doing and how it fits into King Jesus’ plan for the earth? Don’t do that. Consider what it is you are doing. Jehoshaphat then follows with instructions that can be summarized as follows.
Do your job for the Lord. “[Y]ou do not judge for man but for the Lord.” (v. 6). This is the starting point of recognizing the significance of your work in the context of the kingdom of God. You are not working primarily for a paycheck; you are working first and foremost for the Lord.
Do your job inspired by the Lord. ” . . . the Lord, who is with you when you render judgment.” (v. 6). If you are a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit, the Lord is with you when you do your work. Of course that is of no benefit to you if you never draw on his guidance or wisdom. As I have explained in another post, doing your work empowered by the Holy Spirit ensures God’s presence in our work.
Do your job ethically. ” . . . let the fear of the Lord be upon you . . . .for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.” (v. 7). It is axiomatic that if you act unrighteously you are not doing your work for the Lord but for some other purpose. Ethics are the guardrails that keep you on the path God has purposed for your job.
Do your job with all your heart. “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly.” (v. 9). “Wholeheartedly” means “with all your heart,” as opposed to “half-heartedly.” In other words, don’t do your job with your mind on what you’ll do when you get home or over the weekend. Throw yourself completely into your work, giving every part of your being to it. After all, you are not doing it for you but for the Lord. Paul gave the same instructions to the Colossians. (Col. 3:23).
Can you imagine how much better a place the world would be if even only Christians faithfully incorporated these four imperatives into their work? Maybe that is why He commands them. (GS)