In the workplace, who has not observed deviant employees who work hard at not working? I remember in my summers working at a pulp mill, the attempts of other workers to break the machinery so that they could have down time. I remember the guys who dropped their tools and picked up a cigarette as soon as the boss was out of sight. Work resumed when the boss was on the horizon. Why is it that some work faithfully while others slack off?

These are actual quotes taken from Job Performance Reviews:

- Works well under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.
- This young lady has delusions of adequacy.
- Sets low personal standards and consistently fails to achieve them.
- Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold it together
- Gates are down, lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
- If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean.
- Some drink from the fountain of knowledge; he only gargled. 

If we are called to be servants, what makes the difference between a really great worker and one who will get fired? One of Jesus’ stories tells us that there are both kinds of people in God’s workforce.

Matthew 24:
45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 
47 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Why would some self-proclaimed followers of Jesus turn their service into something selfish, wretched and hurtful toward the ones they are supposed to be helping? Why do some people cancel out the good work they do with an attitude that is more harmful than helpful? Why do some Christian workers end up being fired from God’s work?

Consider Saul of Tarsus. He was a devout Jew with high position in his community. In his zeal for God’s work, he chased down the followers of Jesus and had them arrested, beaten and possibly executed. His religious work life was dramatically reshaped when he had a vision of Jesus asking, “Why are you persecuting me?”

The dramatic encounter with God wrecked Saul of Tarsus and caused a new, humble man to emerge. I wonder sometimes if some of God’s people need a similar vision from Jesus asking what they think they are doing. If you repeatedly hurt, offend and humiliate others in the line of duty, it is not God that you are serving.