Oppressing your employees is as sinful as adultery

Employees At WorkMalachi 3:5 (NIV) “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Wow! In this passage you can hear God’s disapproval of those who cheat their employees of wages, but God categorizes it at the level of sorcerers,  adulterers and perjurers! How many company executives who have cheated their people probably dismissed their act as harmless?

On the surface, one may surmise that “wages” are defined as cash for hours worked. However, wages from today’s human resources perspective takes on a far greater meaning than just cash. What about your employees’ medical benefits? Their retirement plans, and education reimbursements? What about your support of them in the communities in which they volunteer? Do you look at your employees and see the bigger wage picture? Or do you look at them in distaste and dismiss them as mere “business cost?”

Respect your employees and be rewarded

Studies and surveys have proven that, when employees know they are being treated fairly, they will go the extra mile. When employees recognize that leadership and ownership think of them first, they will think of the leaders and owners first. You see, it really is simple: people reflect their leadership. Respect your employees’ financial futures, and you can expect to be rewarded by your employees’ productivity and devotion.  If you respect your employees, if you reflect Christ by making them and their families your company’s financial priority by sharing your company’s prosperity with them, you are helping to build a “Kingdom Minded” company.

Please share with our reader community.  Please leave a few comments about a time when you worked for a leader who really valued you.  Not just valued you from a financial perspective, but valued your personality, displayed an interest in your family and showed a genuine interest in your future.   What traits did that leader demonstrate?  How did this leader demonstrate respect for you?  What do you do now as a leader to show respect for your people?  What enhancements have you taken part in to make your workplace welcoming?


Barry Davis

posted on September 20, 2011Reply

Thanks, Mark.

The laborer is worthy his wages. – Luke 10:7


posted on October 30, 2011Reply

I am so glad someone is talking about this, in a public forum. I’ve been in both kinds of jobs–those where my worth has been extremely valued, and those where I’ve felt like a business expense. In the first, benefits were offered (not just wages, as you accurately said) which made me more loyal. In the latter, I felt used, abused, and cranky. God’s wisdom ALWAYS trumps the world’s. Always. Thanks for posting this, and for joining The High Calling. We’re so glad to have you aboard!

Sam Van Eman

posted on November 21, 2011Reply

Mark, I found this featured at TheHighCalling.org today. I work for a company that has received a best-place-to-work award for many years now, and I can vouch for what you’re saying. When respect is given, it is reciprocated. When fair treatment is granted, we go that extra mile. Thanks for highlighting the Bible reference behind this principle.

Marcus Goodyear

posted on November 22, 2011Reply

I saw this at The High Calling, too. I’m thinking also about organizations that work with a lot of volunteers. There are ways to work with volunteers that are sensitive and ways that take advantage.

I will always remember an English Department Head that I worked for in San Antonio. She respected me and helped me–even when I was clearly in the wrong and couldn’t see it at the time. She was always gentle with me, and let me fail when I needed to.

It takes a particularly gifted and gracious leader to let people fail sometimes in order that they might become stronger in the long run.

Mark A. Griffin

posted on November 22, 2011Reply

Thanks Marcus and Sam! I appreciate your encouragement. I have received many e-mails regarding this article; quite frankly I was a little uncomfortable with it until I received as many positive comments as I have! God inspires us far greater than I think I give him credit for! Blessings to you both.

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