"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
"And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him." NIV
Okay, so this is a strange passage to discuss as an American -- we don't have slaves. But at that time, the Romans had millions of slaves. Christianity didn't abolish the slavery but it was there to teach how to live in the midst of it as followers of Christ -- for slaves and masters.
But what I can draw parallels to is the employer/employee, supervisor/volunteer, parent/child relationships. Anytime we we submit to an authority figure on a project or we are the authority, these principles can apply. In every job we have we should be serving the Lord, not men. I do my best in all things not for the pat on the back, but because I am a servant of the Most High and excellence is a standard, not an option. I want to always give all I have because I love Him, and He's the One who gave me my abilities in the first place. In the same way, if I am the one in charge, I want to be a gracious leader as my Lord demonstrated.
Lord, whichever position I am in, help me to be a gracious servant of You alone. Then everyone else around me will benefit.
- How did Jesus exemplify a servant's heart even as the Master? Give specific examples.
- Examine how you serve others or how you have authority over others. Are there areas that you need to change to follow Christ's example better? List them and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to make those changes.