In January of 2009, US Airways flight 1549 landed in the chilly waters of the Hudson River shortly after departing New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The movie Sully depicts the courage and fear of Captain Chesley Sullenberger as he led his crew and the passengers that morning. The film shows the aftermath of a media frenzy and the questioning by various boards and officials. In the midst of a tense hearing during a brief recess the first officer said to Captain Sullenberger, “we did our job.”
As a native New Englander I endured many difficult winters rooting for the New England Patriots. Since the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, it has been much more pleasurable rooting for the Patriots, to the chagrin of the Panther loyalists in Charlotte. After their fourth Super Bowl victory, NFL Films created a documentary on the Patriots and Belichick’s mantra of “do your job.” This is preached throughout the organization, posted on walls, and even emblazoned on shirts worn by the players.
Now this is a stretch, but when you picture the Apostle Paul can you imagine a resemblance to Bill Belichick? I can see Paul wearing a hoodie tunic with the sleeves cut off. Paul, like Belichick, can be brash, outspoken, confident, and extremely direct. In his letter to the church at Colossae, Paul basically tells the early Christians to “do your job.”
At the end of chapter three, Paul reminds the Christ followers about their jobs as husbands, wives, children and bondservants or in our language today, employees. The end of chapter three reminds us that, “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for me, knowing that from the Lord you will receive your inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
At the outset of chapter four, Paul continues to remind us to do our job and he speaks specifically to leaders with these words, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ… walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
Do your job. The job of the leader of a house, a business, and a school is to:
- pray with consistency
- have an attitude of gratitude
- pray for others who lead in ministry
- be clothed in wisdom
- wisely manage one’s time
- speak in a manner that is gracious, but tell the truth
As a leader I am to be on my knees for those I lead as well as for others who lead. I am to be thankful for the many blessings I enjoy, including the time I have been given, thus I should manage my schedule carefully. I need to seek wisdom which is rooted in Christ and as I speak with others, I need to be kind yet not afraid to confront difficult topics.
My prayer is one day, after I stand in my own hearing with the ultimate judge, that those who were with me in the cockpit of leadership say to me with confidence, “we did our job.”