April 11 Do not distinguish between believing and unbelieving employers

1 Tim 6: 2 “But those who have believing masters must not show them less respect~| because they are brothers. Instead they are to serve~~ all the more, because those who benefit from their service are believers and dearly loved. Teach~~ them and exhort~~ them about these things.”

If it was difficult to be a Christian slave owner, imagine how much more difficult it was for converted slaves with a Christian owner. They would say, “Why does he not give me my freedom?”

Christians serving under Christians can be discordant if either one or both fail to know or follow God’s instructions. The principle is that all people retain their social distinctions in society despite their spiritual equality. A slave/employee could be an elder in a church with his converted owner/superior as a disciple.

In such workplace relationships, the believing employee cannot “despise” his believing employer. The verb, “show less respect,” means not “to be disrespectful, think down,” or undervalue or diminish the authority of Christian employers, especially on the job, merely because they are spiritual equals.

A secular job relationship is not a church relationship. We cannot presume to have special privileges; rather, we are to “serve [them] all the more.” If slaves were to serve even an unbelieving master with their whole hearts, how much more would they serve a Christian master!

Believers are to serve their employers obediently, completing all tasks and respectfully honoring superiors and they are to do so sincerely and voluntarily, not grudgingly, “as unto Christ,” diligently, “not with eye–service,” or not by showing off; and spiritually, by “doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph 6:5–-6; Col 3:22–-23). What an employee!

Paul demands that the churches “continually teach and exhort [preach] these principles” (in 4:11, he said “command and teach”). Thus this becomes a foundational concept for the Christian work ethic and evangelism. The obligation to teach these concepts repeatedly suggests few were doing it. Do you practice this command today?

“Lord, keep me focused on my tasks for today, and may I serve my authorities regardless of who they are in order to protect the Savior’s name that I claim as my Lord.”

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