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“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.”—Colossians 3:22 (NKJV)
In context, Paul had just shared how a relationship with Jesus changes the way families function. Now, he transitions to show how a connection with Christ impacts the area of one’s work, and he has something important to share with both the employees and employers, alike.
Paul begins by addressing “bondservants,” which could basically correspond to our modern-day understanding of an employee. The Greek word here for bondservant describes one who serves the will of another. They’re dedicated to fulfill the agenda of another, not their own. The apostle Paul tells them they’re to obey those in authority over them, and to do so with the utmost sincerity, “fearing God.” What’s that all about?
The idea is that a servant/employee is to recognize that the order of authority he serves in is ordained by God. In being a faithful employee/servant they are not really serving man, but the One who is in ultimate authority . . . God, Himself! “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV).
These people won’t cut corners, tap the till, sweep things under the rug, or do anything else they know they shouldn’t be doing. They respect God; therefore, they respect His order of authority, the person in authority over them, and become the best employees on the earth because they understand they’re accountable to the King of heaven!
But now Paul goes on to address masters, which would correspond to modern-day employers: “Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven (Colossians 4:1 NKJV). Employers are just as accountable to God as their employees, which means they better deal fairly with them. If not, if they take advantage of their employees, God sees it and is more than capable of setting things straight and bringing about equity at an employer’s expense.
A worker is to give their employer their best effort, but that employer doesn’t have free reign to take advantage of them! Both sides of the ledger are accountable to Christ. And this sense of accountability is to both protect and direct our work lives!
DIG: What do employees and employers have in common?
DISCOVER: How does this common factor influence each role?
DO: Pray about where you need to grow in your sense of accountability to God, and then talk about it with a trusted Christian friend or mentor.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.