Sound Words For Slaves
A daily devotion for November 16th
1All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.
3If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of all respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. (1 Timothy 6:1)
Some of you have tyrants for bosses. I have worked for such supervisors myself. They frustrate you; you see them as ignoramuses who do not know the end from the beginning. How they ever got the job in the first place, you cannot comprehend. Yet there they are in charge; they have you in a stranglehold because they control your paycheck. The word of Scripture is that you are not merely to treat them with respect, but that you regard them as
worthy of full respect.
Everything is going to rest upon how you feel about them. If you think they are lunatics who are unworthy of your respect, then no matter how polite you may be when they are watching, your attitude toward them will be one of bitterness and resentment; you will be constantly trying to find ways to goof off and justify it because of their attitude toward you. But Scripture says,
consider [them] worthy of full respect--no matter what they are like, no matter how they treat you. Why? Because they are made in the image of God. Just like you, when God's grace touches them, they are capable of reflecting His glory and beauty; they are the potential bearers of God Himself, so they are to be treated with respect.
The Bible never looks at people as being worthless. The Bible's view is that humans are God's creation made in God's image, and, though they have fallen, they are not worthless. If you regard people as created in God's image, you can see an individual as worthy of respect and honor because of what God has made him or her to be--a man or woman for whom Christ died. This is how Christian slaves were to regard their masters in the first century. If they were unbelieving masters, slaves were still to look upon them as
worthy of full respect in order that the name of the God who created them and stamped His image upon them might not be defamed or His teachings scorned by the world.
The satanic view of humans is exactly the opposite. Satan thinks people are worthless; he regards them with scorn and despising. When you think of people as worthless, you treat them that way, and you talk about them that way by cursing them and using language about them that is disparaging and depersonalizing. When you do that, you are reflecting Satan's view of people. Whether slaves or masters, Christians are to treat each other and all other people as
worthy of full respect and not use language like that, so that the name of God will not be defamed.
Thank You, Lord, that You have placed me where I am for a purpose. Help me to treat those around me asworthy of all respect.
Life Application: What is the real and basic commonality between masters and slaves, between any socio-differences, that should elicit mutual respect for one another?
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Daily Devotion © 2006 by Ray Stedman Ministries. For permission to use this content, please review www.RayStedman.org/permissions. Subject to permission policy, all rights reserved.