Good morning! Sometimes conditions in life make you believe that everything is out of control. It may seem like – if it’s not one thing it’s another. However, no matter the conditions at work or in our homes, the Lord is calling us to be a light (godly in our behavior) in the midst of dark spaces. Today, Peter challenges us (especially me today), to be a light in the workplace. Join me as we continue in 1 Peter chapter 2.
“18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect.[k] Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.” – 1 Peter 2:18-20 NLT
Today’s verses required for me to dig a little deeper into commentaries to understand the use of the word Slaves – as translated from the Greek in these verses. It is important to understand that slavery and references to slaves is not referring to the horrific slavery that took place in America. This was written in a different era under different conditions. “Slaves or the Greek word ouketai is referring to household or domestic servants.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary, 847)
Peter was addressing the issue of many slaves who had become Christians on their own or as a slave of their master’s home. Peter not only encouraged Christians in the faith, but Christians who suffered under harsh conditions. While Peter couldn’t change their situation, He pointed them to God – because God could. Not only could God change their situation, but knowing He could the servants were encouraged to live an honourable life in Christ.
How do we apply these verses today? Working in HR for many years, I have seen these verses tested in my own life. On our jobs we are called to work and produce an outcome. While we may not have the best boss or working conditions, we are called to be Christians in those work places/spaces. Often, I have had to call on the name of the Lord before going to work, while at work and in meetings. There were definitely times when I felt like reverting to the behavior of those in my work space, but the Holy Spirit would convict me every time. What I’ve learned is God has a reason for us being where we are, even if it is just for a season. As Christians wherever we can change the atmosphere or culture, let us do so in reverence to God, being respectful until he opens another door, provides an opportunity to address poor behaviors (e.g., filing claims or whistleblowing) or options to move onto a new employer. Most of all pray daily for your employer, your bosses and your co-workers – God can and will change their hearts and your situation.
Who are you praying for today? (List them all)
Father God, thank you for your love toward us. Thank you for your grace. Lord, be with us today as we go through the day. Lord, be our hope and strength. Lord, direct our thoughts and actions. Lord, let us be an example of a godly woman or man in the work place. Lord, help us to be just, honest in our dealings, respectful and considerate of others. Lord, we lift up our workplaces to you today and ask that your presence enters those spaces today. Lord, we ask that you penetrate the hearts of leaders and co-workers, but especially ours today. Lord, help us to be a light in dark spaces. Lord, help our conversations to be pleasing unto you. Lord, cover us and shield us with grace and mercy. Lord, help each of us with our assignments, task and relationships. Lord, we also pray for those who are out of work or off work. Lord, bless them while they search for employment. Cover them while they seek a place to belong. Lord, be with those who are out due to illness or medical/disability leaves. Lord, touch their finances and help them to continue their medical coverage. Lord, heal their bodies and restore them better than new. Lord, be with those who are retired and keep their minds sharp as they continue or accept the call to do kingdom work. Lord, be with us all today. Give us discernment, bridle our tongues as needed and continue to change us to be more like you every day. In Jesus name, amen.
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