Ephesians 6:5 – 8 “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.”
In ancient Rome, slavery was a fact of life. Unlike the slavery that took place in more recent centuries, many people of that time were slaves voluntarily! They would sign up to be a slave or a bondservant, in order to pay a debt, or to secure a place to live. In this passage, Paul wasn’t condoning or condemning slavery. Rather, because many slaves and slave owners had become Christians, he wanted to instruct them in godly, Christ-like behavior.
While most people reading this today are not slaves, we can apply this passage to the relationship between an employer and an employee. When we work for someone else, we should treat them with honor and respect. We should obey our employers, and be loyal to them, and work hard for them. We should work just as hard when they are not looking as we do when they are watching us.
When we are Christians, everything we do casts a reflection on Christ. When we are lazy, when we show up late and leave early, when we only work hard when the boss is watching, we give other Christians – as well as Christ – a bad name! When we gossip and slander our boss, when we are disloyal and two-faced, we give people a bad impression of what it means to be a Christian.
We must always remember that we serve Christ alone. Paul even said that we should act like slaves of Christ! No matter who our employer is, we work for our Lord. He wants us to work hard. He wants us to work with smiles on our faces and songs in our hearts. When we work, He wants us to give it our all. He wants us to work with our whole hearts.
When we work hard for our employers, when we treat them with respect and honor and loyalty, our rewards will be twofold. First of all, our employers will be pleased with us. They will be more likely to give us promotions and raises, and place us in positions of respect. More importantly, we will be rewarded by Christ, who sees everything we do.
Dear Father, Please help me to treat those in authority over me with respect. Help me to work hard, and to please You in all that I do.