Slaves obey your masters

Ya, wow, boy that title will get a reaction, huh?
Paul writes to the Ephesian church: “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Eph 6:5-7)
Wonder how many of you read past the first line. Oh yeah, I can hear the self-righteous, politically correct, the indignation. Reminds me of one of Jesus’ discussions with the self-righteous of His time. We are probably safe to assume that Jesus is talking to either Pharisees or scribes, the really self-righteous types. They get all indignant because Jesus rightly, of course He is God, says “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Well… wow wee, “free?!”, we’ve never been slaves. Huh? Slaves in Egypt, captives in Babylon, oppressed by the Greeks and now!? A Roman soldier comes along and tells you to carry his gear for awhile? You better carry it or get the flat edge of a Roman sword across your head. They have been slaves and captives for most of their history and they, like us, have been slaves to sin for ever. (Jn 8: 32-34)
We are all slaves, servants if you feel you must. A “servant” in that time was just a higher ranking slave. Again we need to understand the context, pretty much everyone in the Roman Empire was a slave. You could be a physician, lawyer, accountant, teacher and be someone’s slave. You would be treated well and live a fairly normal life, but you were still owned. In today’s world we are all a servant to someone, that’s not a bad thing, and yes we serve. Phulease, get over this. “I serviced …” If you’re talking about another human being you served them. Your boss, customer, your spouse, child, parent, neighbor. What is so wrong with that. Jesus told us that the “Son of man came to serve and not to be served.” (Matt 20:28) If my Lord is a servant, well you betcha, I’m a servant too. And if I’m the servant of the Lord, Creator and Sustainer of all, well that’s not too shabby.
Paul goes on to write, to serve with respect. Oh yeah, we are all guilty of kavetching about our workplace; boss, associates, customers, hours, pay, on and on. I get it, we don’t all have the ideal situation, very few of us do. But we do have a place where we are productive, we are providing for ourselves, our community. We have the dignity of responsibility, of growing. More importantly we very much serve our Lord in our workplace. We remember that we are in that workplace to serve those around us as if we are serving Jesus, because we are serving Him too. As I’ve written frequently, we spend so much of our life in the workplace, how can we spend so much time and not show ourselves as good servants. As we serve our “neighbor”, how can those we work with/for be served any less by us? We are surely “…with good will doing service, as to the Lord and not to men.” At least we should be.
Let’s be good servants, let’s take pride in being servants. We may not like the guy we work with or the idea that we’re being his servant. But if we are doing it “…as to the Lord…”? Well the rest doesn’t really matter.
Serve! None of this pretentious non-sense of “servicing”, people aren’t cars, they are made in the image of God. Get over your precious little ego and quit thinking it’s all about you and how you’re in control. You know perfectly well that you’re not. When you truly live your life in the knowledge that you serve a perfect, holy, all knowing God, who wants what is best for you, the rest will be easy. Jesus came to serve you and not to be served. I’m not sure I can say that He “liked” it, but He loves us for whom He serves and He continues to serve us in what is best for us. Let’s try to do that in our workplace. Wouldn’t that be a tremendous witness to the Lord and a credit to you, serving the Lord in that way?

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