Friday, October 1, 2010

Who's the Boss?

Read Ephesians 6: 1-9

Verses 1-3 echo in the ears of children the world over. Parents have them committed to memory, ready to recite at a moments notice when their young ones need reminding. Yet the truth remains. We do need reminding, and often. It would also do the parents well to remember the other side of this coin.

Ephesians 6: 4

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

God designed the family according to His purpose. Children are called to honor and obey their parents. Parents are to love and nurture their children. They are to grow up with the same loving care and instruction that Christ gives the church. A child should know that in obeying their parents, they will be following rules set for their benefit and protection.

At first glance, Verses 5 – 9 seem a little out of date and easy to skip over. This is far from the truth. It is all in the wording. Take into account the time in which it was written. Men and women labored at their own household or estate. If they worked elsewhere it was as a servant or slave. The modern equivalent would be the employee / employer relationship. Read it now in this perspective.

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 as 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.

We are called to make every aspect of our lives a testimony to Christ. God places us in people’s lives. He puts us in situations that allow us to shine His light before those who are in need of it. It will not always be easy, but this is God’s will.

Ephesians 6: 9

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.

How many of us have had to deal with an impossible boss or supervisor? We know that we are called to be submissive, and do what is required of us, even in these situations. Those of us who find ourselves on the other side would do well to keep this in mind. God has made us the stewards of much. When we are called to lead, it is for the good of others, not just ourselves. In what way are we extending the love of the Lord to those who work for us? Are we being the type of masters that our own expects of us?

1 Corinthians 10: 31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God

We would do well to remember this. We are all God’s children. We are all His servants. No matter our place in the between, these things do not change. We are the citizens of heaven and should be conducting ourselves as such.