1 Peter 2:18
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
New Living Translation
You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel.
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all [proper] respect, not only to those who are good and kind, but also to those who are unreasonable.
Good News Translation
You servants must submit yourselves to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
Slaves were part and parcel of the families in the New Testament times. Slaves were converted to Christianity alongside other people from other walks of life. As Apostles addressed believers from various walks of life they also addressed slaves.
(18) Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
(19) Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
(20) Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
(21) Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
(22) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.
The list of household members by Apostle Paul includes slaves. Slaves were domestic workers in some homes. Do you consider domestic workers as part of your household? Do you realize they are also family members? When addressing family issues, domestic workers must also be addressed.
In our text today, it is not Apostle Paul but Apostle Peter who is addressing slaves. He asks the slaves who are converted to be respectful and supportive of their masters. This is what Paul told them in the Colossians text cited above. Paul tells them to be faithful even when the master is not watching. Be faithful even when you have a chance to be mischievous undetected.
Peter now tells them to be supportive of their bosses regardless of their temperament. The temperament of your boss should not affect the quality of your your work. Be faithful to your work, whether your boss is reasonable or unreasonable.
We should serve God and not our bosses. Our bosses can be polite or harsh. Our bosses can be considerate or inconsiderate. Our bosses can be reasonable or unreasonable. When we serve God we remain consistent amidst the inconsistency of our boss. A believer must be totally committed to higher values.
Your boss may be serving profit and exploiting you as a result, you must remain focused and serve God, until when you are free from that boss. Your boss may be serving race or tribe, do not be like him or her, remain focused and serve God. Your boss may be corrupt and criminal, as long as you are not free from that boss, serve God faithful.
Peter tells the servants aka slaves, to be consistent because they are serving God. Like Daniel et al you will serve many kingdoms if you serve God and not your boss. Those who serve bosses suffer greatly when bosses exit the stage of power. Serve God and not the boss. Daniel served kings of Babylon and kings of Medo-Persia. When you serve God you fit into any regime. When you serve the boss, regimes change is your worst nightmare. Serve God and tolerate the inconsistencies of the boss!
Tolerate the boss because no one lasts forever, not even you. Even the longest serving dictator had a last day at work. Tolerate your cruel master. Be consistent. Do not be tempted to abuse, and engage them boss in a manner that they can use their power to harm you. Mind your language and mind your conduct. You boss doesn’t have to be nice, but you must be nice!
Help us dear God, help us to tolerate our masters. Help us who are masters to be reasonable and considerate. Remind us that no good or bad person will last forever. Give us wisdom to survive the work place, in Jesus’ name, Amen!
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