May 4, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Psalm 123:1-2 (NRSV)
To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
until he has mercy upon us.
At work, we naturally and wisely pay attention to our bosses. But even in the midst of our workday we should be remembering the Big Boss, so to speak. We can focus our hearts on God’s will as we do the work that’s set before us.
Most of us aren’t literal servants. And most of us don’t work for someone we’d call our master. But most of us do have a boss, or maybe a whole ladder of bosses in authority over us. So we can relate to the situation behind Psalm 123. This psalm envisions servants to “look to the hand of their master” or “mistress” (v. 2). Why? Because the slightest movement of the boss’s hand matters. A finger pointed in a certain direction says, “Do this now.” A thumbs up says, “Good job.”
It’s natural and wise for us to pay attention to our boss at work. But Psalm 123 reminds us that we have another Boss, the one who is the Lord of heaven and earth. So, even in our daily work, as we pay attention to our earthly boss, we are encouraged to remember the Big Boss, so to speak. We look to God for guidance, for encouragement, for mercy, and for affirmation. In the end, no matter what our earthly boss might say, we want to hear from the Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Gracious God, I do care what my boss thinks of me. Indeed, that’s a sensible thing. So I ask you to help me as I do this, to respect the one who has authority over me and to seek to be excellent in my work.
Yet, my boss is not the Big Boss. You are! You alone are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are the ultimate authority over everything in heaven and earth, including my place of employment. My boss might not even acknowledge you, but you are the true Lord and Master.
Help me, I pray, to look to you. Even as I seek to do good work, may I seek to praise you. Even as I hope my boss will acknowledge me, may I want your approval most of all.
Thank you, dear Lord, that you are not only the authority over my life, but the one whose mercy transforms my life. I look to you for mercy today. Amen.
Ponder Throughout the Day
Lift the eyes of your heart to God today.
For Further Reflection
Read all of Psalm 123.
You may also wish to read Isaiah 6.
Banner image by Memento Media on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Have Mercy!.
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Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.