June 9, 2021 – Ephesians 6:5-9 – Work

Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections: 

Today’s reading is from Ephesians 6: 5-9

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; 6 not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8 knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free.

9 And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him, there is no partiality.

As I mentioned yesterday, this passage is a little fraught because we need to understand how slavery fits into the greater narrative of scripture.  All of scripture is the story of God freeing us from the sin that entered into the world at the fall. It’s the story of Gods’ plan of redemption through relationship and covenant. It’s God’s plan of salvation for all who would believe.  God is always working for freedom from all persons.  

So in light of that think that this passage can show us something very important about how we are to work at our jobs.  The word vocation is tied to your calling.  We all have a vocation, a calling in life, something that in fact gives us life. We are especially blessed if our vocation is our job. But, for many of us, that is not the case, the thing that is the passion of lives is something other.  

I think that’s where this passage can be helpful.  Notice what persons are instructed to do. First, they are called to remember the worth of each person within their lives, as the “masters” are told, they and the “slave” have the same ultimate masters.  They are of equal worth before God. 

Your job does not equal your worth.  Your worth is found in Jesus Christ.  Never, ever forget that.  

What we do see are several important reminders for our worth life and relationships: 

  1. Treat everyone with equal worth regardless of jobs and positions
  2. Work hard at your job, with enthusiasm.  Do joyfully the task before you, because you don’t worth for humans, you work for the Lord. 
  3. If you are in a position over someone (manager, boss) treat them with respect, in the same way that you’d like to be treated.  

This reminds me of Paul’s word in Colossians 3: 17 – do everything for the glory of Jesus. Do your job for Jesus. Form relationships for Jesus.  Everything in our lives, every effort, everything is for the glory of Jesus. 

Never forget that.  Live that home.  At work. At play.  Everywhere. That’s our job. 

Tomorrow, we’ll look again at Ephesians 6: 5-9.

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