Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters . . . Masters, treat your bondservants justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. – Colossians 3:22, Colossians 4:1
Scripture reading: Colossians 3:22-4:1
What does having put off the old self and being renewed look like for Christian masters and bondservants, or employers and employees? What implications does Christ being all and in all have for them as members of the body of Christ?
Bondservants are to submit to the authority of their earthly masters in everything, unless, of course, they are asked to do something against God’s will. They are to do so with sincerity of heart, as if they were actually doing their work for the Lord Jesus Christ, keeping in mind that He will give them a salary that is of far more value than any earthly salary. Moreover, if the master has wronged him, he will be repaid by God on the Day of Judgment and if the bondservant has done wrong, he too will be repaid for there is no preferential treatment with God.
Masters who have put off their old self and are being renewed in knowledge after the image of God are to treat their bondservants justly, giving them what they are entitled to, with the same rights as if they were not bondservants. Slavery, through debt, in the Old Testament could last no longer than six years. For the New Testament congregation this meant that slavery could not go on forever. Furthermore, masters are to remember that as they demanded obedience from their bondservants so their heavenly master demanded obedience from them. In other words, they are to give them the wages and social/political equality they are entitled to.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask your heavenly Father that all employers and employees would be given the grace to serve each other as if they were serving the Lord Jesus Christ.