5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
In Jesus times, the servant was the person doing the work that was given to him by the master. He may have been a servant that was bought, or a free will servant, but always a servant. In today’s world, we have employees and bosses. The positions have different names, but are nonetheless the same as in Jesus time. As employees, we still have an obligation to work for a boss, and as a result we are, in essence, the servant and he is the master.
When we understand this, we understand how these next few verses apply to today. we have an obligation to do what our bosses tell us to do with a determined purpose of making him look good. This is not about whether he is a good boss or a bad boss, whether he plays favorites or not, whether he really has he ability to be the boss or not, or whether the task is too easy or too hard. We have an obligation to do what he asks. The fear and trembling part is not as much because he can fire us at any time, it is because we should be doing this work as if Jesus is telling us to do it, not the boss. Do the work as unto Christ – more on this coming up.
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
By all means, we should not do good work just to receive commendation for it, trying to please man. This will only add to our pride, which we never want to do. I am not saying that we should not accept those “good work” comments when they come – we need to acknowledge those with respect. But out goal in working should not be to get those remarks – we should be doing the job to the best of our ability whether those comments come or not, and no matter how it looks to our fellow workers. W should be doing that job from our heart, and always, always giving our best effort.
Why? Because if we believe God is providing for us, than we should believe God placed us in that job, And if God placed us in that job, when we should ultimately be working for Him, not just our bosses. I know that you want to do your best for the Lord. So do it in the workplace, and do it with all your might. If you are a married, do your job as a husband or wife with the best of your ability as unto the Lord, not your spouse. If you are unemployed, do all you are able to around the house for your children and spouse, as unto the Lord, not your family. I could go on but I think you catch my point. So many people wonder what the will of the Lord is for them. This is a good place to start!
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
This verse speaks to anyone who has some kind of authority over another. It can be a boss at a job, or a father in a family, or someone who hires and independent contractor do some work. And it’s words are pretty straightforward. Again, the golden rule is a gauge to live by in these relationships. First he says to forbear threatening. Forbear is defined as politely or patiently restraining an impulse to do something. I can’t even begin to tell you how often I threatened to do some kind of punishment on my kids and did not follow through! And I did this with employees as well. I would definitely have been better off forbearing in a large majority of those cases.
There is a proper time for threatening though, and that’s when company policy is broken, or job performance is poor. We should still do these things in love, as Christians, and we should never be respecter of one person over another. All should be on a level playing field. If we find ourselves disciplining one, and allowing another to do the same thing,, we are playing favorites. This is wrong in God’s eyes.
Aren’t you glad God even gives us direction in employee/employer relations? Imagine if these simple rules would be followed by every Christian, what a better world we would live in! I think I’ll start to pray more about that!