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April 8 Obey your superiors

Eph 6:5-6 Slaves, obey~~ your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ, not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Sometimes overarching principles give us a foundation for subordinate commands that form the context of our individual commands, especially in relationships. For example, in Ephesians 5:21NIV, we have the foundational principle to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” From this foundation, each side of the relationship has its responsibilities.

Employment conflicts rage throughout all societies, each side accusing the other of selfishness, unconcern for the other, and unwillingness to compromise selfish interests. Everyone wants greater benefits without greater effort. Each party is trying to get all he can, and each assumes that the other is holding back.

Paul addressed the slaves who had become Christians so they could understand how their new faith implied a new attitude toward others, especially their “human masters.”

The New Testament does not focus on changing human societies or promoting revolutions. On the contrary, it focuses on individuals and the attitudes of their hearts in any circumstance, especially in the church. When God’s instructions are obeyed, every relationship improves, but when they are ignored, any relationship deteriorates. Each side of the relationship must deal with its own obedience regardless of the response of the other party.

Slaves were to be “continually obedient” to their masters, especially as believers. The only exception would be if they were forced to do something immoral, idolatrous, or illegal. Peter clarified that this command included all masters, “not only those who are good and gentle, but also those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if…a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly” (1 Pet 2:18–19).

Being a Christian who follows God’s principles should always result in being a better worker, being more productive and diligent, and being trustworthy and agreeable. Titus adds that subordinates are “to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in every respect” (Titus 2:9–10). As believers, we bear the reputation of God through our behavior. The believer’s workplace is his field of service and his primary platform for an impact on unbelievers. Keep thinking biblically and you serve the Lord Himself and prove yourself to be productive and submissive. This is Christ honoring job security.

“Lord, why do You put leaders over me that are intimidating and hard to please? Please give me the grace today to see my service to them as service to You.”

In order to practice this command today, I am going to ….

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