Read 1 Timothy 6:1-2a.
It’s easy to like this passage – until you have to apply it to yourself. We read it for what it says to Paul’s original readers and think: “Yea, slaves needed to respect their masters. That could be rather demanding at times given certain situations, but respect, yea, that’s a good thing.”
But are we willing to slip this text into the next gear and drive it into application to our own times? The road can be rather challenging to steer if we dare to take this route. For example, consider the following three questions:
- Given the way you either work or “dodge” work, what sort of witness are you giving to the name of Christ to those who are over you?
- How do you talk about your boss(es) with your fellow employees? Are your words about them words of “respect?”
- If your superior is also a Christian, do you treat them with the same measure of regard you would if they were “just anybody?” That is, do you “cut corners” in your job because you know you can get away with it more easily simply because your boss is a believer?
How we go about our work and how we treat others on the job, whether or not they “outrank us,” is part of the worship we offer to our God. The respect we offer our superiors says something about the reverence we have for our Lord. He who alone if truly worthy is worthy of the best we can offer in terms of our relationships and conduct with those with whom we work each day. Indeed, much of the witness to His goodness is dependent on the goodness of his people. Are you acting like one of his people or are you acting just like everyone else on the job?
Father in heaven, in the name of the Lord Jesus, may I develop a more respectful attitude and way toward those to whom I am accountable. May this be true in every aspect of my life – work, school, church, home – everywhere. For your name is above every name and I want your name lifted up, not obscured, by my ways. Amen.