Personally, I don’t care for most “reality” television shows today. There is one exception however. I really enjoy Undercover Boss. It airs on Sunday evenings, so I don’t get to watch it often. But the couple of time I have, I’ve really enjoyed watching people’s reaction when they learn they have just spent a day working alongside the CEO of their company.
In each episode, hidden cameras follow a different executive each week, and one of their average workers on an undercover mission to examine how their company functions. The executives step out of the comfort of their cushy offices to work alongside their employees, and in the process discover how decisions made in the corporate office impact the average employee. They get an “up-close” and personal look at both the good and the bad. Occasionally, they discover incredible, unsung heroes -people who make their companies great. Often, there are also times when the mission turns up some pretty mediocre performances and attitudes.
It’s a well-written show, but I’m still not sure why I like it so much. Perhaps, at some level, I enjoy watching the poor performers get their just desserts. You have to admit, there’s a bit of “sweet justice” when a jerk comes face to face with the boss who saw them for who they really are. On the other hand, it is also inspiring to see an unsung hero discovered and rewarded for his loyalty and sacrificial service.
On a deeper and more important level, as followers of Christ, we have the Ultimate Undercover Boss! Jesus spoke often about the “Father, who sees in secret” (Matthew 6:6), and examines the motives of the heart. Psalms 139 speaks of the One who “knows when I sit down, and when I stand up”, and “knows my every thought from afar.” He even “knows what I am going to say before I say it.” Then the Psalmist concludes, “Such knowledge is too great for me to comprehend.”
He is ever-present, and all knowing. In a real sense of the word, God is the Ultimate Undercover Boss! Perhaps that’s why Paul urged the believers in the church at Ephesus, “Whatever you do, work at with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” (Colo. 3:23), and to the Corinthians he said, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)
On the show, people put their jobs, and even their future, on the line by not recognizing their boss is right in front of them, watching and listening to how they are treating customers and co-workers. In the same way, the Ultimate Undercover Boss is always listening, always watching, and always aware of the unspoken attitudes and feelings in our hearts. Paul reminded his readers, “So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home, in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:9-10)
In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about of the separation of the sheep and goats at the final judgment. The King will send each to their eternal reward based on these words, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did (or did not do), for one of the least of these my brothers, you did (or did not do) for Me.”
What would you do, or say differently, if you knew the person with whom you are speaking today is, in fact, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe – the Ultimate Undercover Boss?