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Ephesians 6:9: Masters . . . Stop Your Threatening

Ephesians 6:9
[9] Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him. (ESV)

So, we continue looking at this passage of Scripture where Paul addresses how servants and masters ought to act toward one another as believers in Jesus Christ.  This is not a promotion of slavery, but as an existing situation in the Roman Empire Paul addresses how those who are already in this situation ought to act.  For our purposes we can understand these principles as relating to a boss and an employee.  Today's verse that speaks to masters will equally speak to you who are bosses, or may some day be a boss.

Masters, or bosses, should treat those who are working for them with respect. In this verse the Apostle Paul includes this phrase, “stop your threatening.” Clearly, there were masters who were taking advantage of their servants and not treating them with respect. There are a few places in Scripture that remind us of how those in authority should act toward those who are beneath them.

1 Peter 5:1-4
[1] So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: [2] shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; [3] not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. [4] And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Being in charge of others is a humbling responsibility. Peter addresses the elders and tells them that while they have the responsibility of overseeing God’s people, they are supposed to lead by example, and in recognition that they are also UNDER authority. If you are leading in any capacity, as a boss or even as a Christian leader, you must realize that you are under God’s authority and are accountable to the Lord for how you treat those under you.

Even Jesus had words for his disciples about how they should treat those whom they would be in authority over. They are not to be abusive. That was how the ungodly acted. A good boss is a kind boss.

Matthew 20:25-28
[25] But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. [26] It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, [27] and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, [28] even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Our text in Ephesians includes a very interesting reason for why a good boss should deal very gently with his servant.

Ephesians 6:9
[9] . . . “knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven”

Are you a boss? You have a boss as well. Both you and your employee have the same boss, God himself. That will help a Christian boss to have a right perspective. A good boss recognizes that he is no bigger than the one who serves him.