“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.” Ephesians 6:9
I consider it an incredible privilege to have been born and raised in a Christian home and community. Most of my life has been immersed in the church, to one degree or another. I attended Christian school from Kindergarten through High School graduation. I was able to continue my education in Bible college. After college graduation, I went on to work at a church. For the past several years, I’ve worked and volunteered for Christians and Christian organizations. The last few years led me to start my own Christian ministry for women, Neue Thing. I’ve been both the employee and the boss. From start to finish, I have been extremely blessed. Even within some of the corporate or secular jobs that I have held, some of my employers were believers. If you have any of these details in common with me, you also know that it is a blessing. To work with or for like-minded people is a gift.
While my story may seem a bit sugar coated or too good to be true, I assure you, it is not. I’m also fully aware of the fact that many of you don’t share my experience in the work field, and perhaps this has been extremely difficult for you to maintain your morals and beliefs in an unbelieving world. My purpose today is not to determine which end of the spectrum is better than the other; rather, I want to speak to those who find themselves in authority over others and hopefully shed some biblical light on these roles of leadership. If you are a boss or a “master”, God has some specific instruction for you today. Will you join me in pursuing truth today, friends? Will you humble yourselves and choose to be teachable? Let’s dive in!
In the previous verses of Ephesians 6, Paul gave clear instruction to those who are subject to masters to honor and respect them and to work for them as if working for the Lord Himself. Now, Paul directs his words towards those in authority over others. If you are a believer, your faith in Jesus Christ should be evident in every area of your life, both personally and professionally. It would be inconsistent with the faith you profess to compartmentalize your life and to leave Jesus out of your work and the way you lead. What Paul is teaching in Ephesians 6:5-9 is that there should be a mutual respect between employers and employees, and for believers, this should stem from their love and commitment to Jesus Christ. The servant should humbly serve, and the master should humbly lead.
Therefore, a Christian boss who threatens, abuses, or is even inconsiderate to those under them is a poor example and a horrible representation of Jesus Christ. It is extremely important for us all to remember that anyone who is in a position of power or authority has been placed there by God. He is the one who appoints rulers, not man. Every aspect of earthly authority rests under the sovereign hand of Almighty God. Since this authority has been given to those who possess it, they are to demonstrate their authority with justice, grace, and love, because the Spirit-filled boss understands fully that he also has a Master to whom he must give an account, a Heavenly One who resides in Heaven. Everyone on this earth, no matter how high in authority they sit, answers to God – the President of the United States, the CEOs and the CFOs, the senior pastor of the church, the store manager, the small business owner, and the list could go on. One day, we all will give an account to THE Master, and we will be held to His standard, not our own.
If you are in a position of overseeing others, if you are a boss, supervisor, or a team lead, are you operating in that position of authority under the leadership and instruction of the Holy Spirit? Are you the Spirit-filled boss, the one who leads with justice, grace, and love? Or are you domineering, micro-managing, inconsiderate, and harsh? Are you respected by those under you, or do you demand their respect? Do you give respect to those whom you lead? In your position of authority, do you represent Christ well? Be a “master” who deserves respect, not one who demands it. Lead as Christ led. Follow in the footsteps of the One who was the selfless servant. Be the Spirit-filled boss.