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1 Peter 2:18: Servants, Be Subject To Your Masters With All Respect, Not Only To The Good And Gentle But Also To The Unjust.

1 Peter 2:18
[18] Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (ESV)

When we here the word "servant" we are concerned. We tend to think of slavery. We know that there is a lot of ugly history associated with that word. We are right to be concerned. In this context, Peter is referring to servants, who made up a considerable part of the social structure in the Roman Empire. Not all masters were evil. Not all servants were treated as we think of slaves being treated.

For the sake of this verse it would probably be more helpful to think of the word "master" as "boss." Peter is saying that you should be the most respectful worker your boss has ever had. He points out the character trait we all tend to share. We will be respectful of bosses who treat us well. God wants us to be respectful whether we are being treated respectfully or not.

If you are only going to be respectful to those who treat you right you are likely not going to be very respectful to anyone. We are so quick to take offense. How many times have you been in a work situation and your coworkers are complaining about the boss. What did the boss do? Asked your coworkers to do the very job that they were hired to do. It is easy to fall into this disrespectful mindset.

We must remember that in every situation we are to live for God's glory and not our own. This respect that we are offering to a boss is ultimately being offered unto the Lord. Others will see that we are being respectful to a boss who is not deserving such respect. They will see in you a character trait that they do not possess. You may have the privilege of describing to them the God who you ultimately serve.

Do you hate your work situation? Have a hard boss? It's not easy. God wants you to show respect even when it is difficult. He will help you. You can be an example to others of a godly nature you received by grace.