This daily devotional is all about treating workers with fairness and justice. It is based on the principles found in the Bible, and it offers practical ways to apply those principles in the workplace.
Yesterday’s daily devotional theme was “the importance of self-control” and today’s is about treating workers with fairness and justice.
» Wednesday, 11th January 2023 | I Stand In The Gap Daily Devotional | Workplace Fairness and Justice
“Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.”James 5:4
Our anchor daily devotion verse highlights the importance of treating our workers with all the fairness and justice they deserve. Many abuse the temporal power given to them and abuse their station by exploiting and mistreating their employees.
The suggestion here is that:
- Those who do so will be held accountable for their actions.
- It reminds us of the value of labor and its dignity, and the importance of treating workers with respect and non-exploitative measures.
- Additionally, it could also imply that it is not just a matter of justice, but also a matter of moral responsibility that we basically have to adhere to.
As believers, we are called to act with justice and compassion, especially toward those who are vulnerable at the workplace.
Look at how Leviticus put it:
You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.Leviticus 19:13
And the question is why do people treat others anyhow, especially if it’s to do with paying of wages?
The background to the anchor verse:
James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote to the early Christian communities in Jerusalem and was here addressing the wealthy members of that community. He was blunt with them to show fairness and justice to their workers.
In those days, just as it is in our day, manual workers such as laborers who weeded and tilled the fields, harvesters, etc., were always mistreated and exploited. In those times, it was an agrarian economy. Workers earned less, yet they were being taken advantage of.
The phrase “the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty” loudly points to the mistreatment of workers, which was not only a matter of human injustice, but also a matter of divine justice, and the Lord is aware of the abuse and injustice.
Yes, the worker you maltreat, when he or she cries to the Lord, justice is served, and swiftly!
In our current Christian dispensation, James 5:4 is teaching us that the biblical principles of treating workers with fairness and justice are still relevant.
By that, we’re being called as employers to treat our workers with respect and to pay them fairly for their labor, or else we beget the wrath of God.
This message is just as important today as it was in the time of James. See, at many workplaces, workers are so vulnerable to mistreatment and exploitation, especially if one is of a different race, tribe, religion, or of lower social background.
In today’s context, the verse can also be applied to other forms of labor beyond manual labor in agriculture. Example;
- Fair compensation
- Fair work conditions
- Opportunities for career advancement, and
- Respect and dignity at the workplace.
See, as Christians, we are called to act with justice and compassion towards each other, which includes our workers, and to ensure that they are treated with dignity and respect.
It is also important to note that in the current dispensation, Christians are not only called to act with fairness and justice as employers, but also as employees, that are Christians, we are called to work with integrity, respect, and purpose, to not steal from our employers and to be responsible and faithful in our work.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”Proverbs 31:8-9
This urges us to speak up and defend the rights of the poor and the needy and judge fairly and act on behalf of those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
“Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.”
It instructs us not to defraud or rob our neighbor, and to promptly pay the wages of hired workers, teaching us to be fair and respectful in our dealings with employees and to value their labor and efforts.
We come to You today with the reminder of Your word in James 5:4, and we confess that too often, we as employers, employees, or as a society, have failed to treat our workers with fairness and the justice they deserve.
We have failed to pay them what they are owed, to provide them with fair working conditions, to respect their rights, and to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve as humans who were created in Your image.
Today, we turn to You in repentance and ask for Your total forgiveness. We ask for Your guidance, wisdom, and mercy as we strive to do better in the future.
Heavenly Father, we come to you today and acknowledge the pain and suffering caused by workplace abuse. We pray for your healing and strength for those who have been affected by abuse, and for wisdom and justice for those in positions of authority to put an end to it.
- We pray for employers to have the compassion to treat their workers justly, pay them fair wages, and provide a safe and healthy working environment.
- We pray for employees to work with true integrity and diligence, respect their employers, and be responsible and faithful in their work.
- We also pray for all those who are currently suffering due to maltreatment at work. We ask for Your healing and provision for them, and for You to bring them justice and restitution.
Finally, we pray that as a society, we would value and respect the work of all people, regardless of their profession or social status, and that we would work towards creating a culture of fairness and justice for all workers.
We ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Amen.