By David ReayFriday 16 Oct 2020LifeWords Devotionals
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.
Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don’t threaten them; remember, you both have the same Master in heaven, and he has no favorites. (NLT)
The slaves mentioned here are likely to be household servants and the attitudes encouraged here are most applicable to present day employers and employees. As is normal with Paul, there are mutual obligations. Right conduct is needed from all parties. Fairness is not one sided.
Those who work for an employer are to see their work as part of their service of Jesus not just a means of earning a living. They are to work wholeheartedly, not doing the bare minimum when the boss happens to be looking. They are not to be those who poison a workplace by passive lethargy or active malice.
And those who employ others are to treat them well. Just as a lazy or incompetent or malicious worker can corrupt a workplace, so can a bullying, insensitive boss. Some employers know a lot about managing computer systems or balance sheets but very little about managing people. They are to recognise their position of leadership does not give them the right to throw their weight around. They too are accountable to God for what they do and how they do it.
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Our daily work is not always attractive or enjoyable. Daily work might be tedious or challenging but it is not an interruption to our devotion to Jesus. It is part of it.