A thousand books are written every year on management principles. However, conflicts persist, and regrettably, it is often not any better (if not worse) in Christian organizations. Some “masters,” or today’s managers or leaders, believe in the use of fear and threats to motivate or control subordinates, as they would have driven slaves to work for them in the first century.
How should a Christian employer differ from a secular employer? Some even say Christian principles do not work or have no place in the business world. However, Christian administrators must live under the commands of Scripture and meditate on how they should be applied in each situation. Living under His rules is the priority.
The command in Ephesians 6:9 deals with how the master/employer who has become a Christian should treat slaves/employees. The owners were “to be continually treating” their slaves “in the same way” as slaves were to be concerned about the well–being of their master (Eph 6:5–-8).
Because slaves were considered as mere resources for tasks, they were less than human in the master’s mind. Often, threats were seen as the only way to control them; however, such manipulative techniques are prohibited because Christian leaders must continually “[give] up the use of threats.”
The term give up means “to abandon” the use of “threatening.” When Paul wrote to the Colossians about the same problem, he said, “Masters, [continually be] treat[ing] your slaves with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven” (Col 4:1).
The Ephesians passage adds, “There is no favoritism with Him,” because there is no master–slave or employer–employee relationship in heaven—-we are all equal before God. If there is no “favoritism” or partiality with God, then there should not be any with us.
Everyone should be treated as a brother, even if he is a subordinate. How can you apply these principles in your job situation?
“Father, Your way with me has taught me how to treat those under my responsibility, and I recognize that I cannot pretend to be anything more special to You than anyone else. May I honor Your name by how I treat others.”
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