With the Emancipation Proclamation issued on January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, slavery became a thing of the past on American soil.
As such, modern ears tend to find the vocabulary around words like “slave” and “master” to be archaic and sometimes uncomfortable. Sections in the Bible that deal with servant/master relationships sometimes get skimmed as readers focus more on the parent/child and husband/wife verses.
But these servant/master admonitions are still applicable today when applied to a similar relationship – the employee/boss one. While this is not a perfect comparison, the ideal is similar.
In an employee/boss setting, the worker has allowed whomever is in the supervising role to ultimately become the master. As such, the instruction from Ephesians 6:5-9 take a new meaning.
“5 [Employees work for] your earthly [bosses] with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would [work for] Christ. 6 [Work for them] not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as [employees] of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 [Work] wholeheartedly, as if you were [working for] the Lord, not people,8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are [employed] or [the employer].
“9 And [bosses], treat your [employees] in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their [Boss] and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.” (NIV)
It’s crucial to treat employees and bosses with respect, and to work a job as if working it for the Lord. With this kind of work ethic, whether being the “slave” or “master” God is honored, and that is the best work benefit of all.
Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.