Ephesians 6:5-9 - 5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 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.
I love working in R-Kids on Sunday mornings. It’s a ministry to kids from babies through 5th grade and every week we talk about the gospel and about Jesus. In working with the kids they ask truly profound questions (recently we discussed when Jesus was returning), and they say some of the darndest things that reflect our times and our culture. Recently, I was in a classroom with some of the younger children, and I witnessed two kids fighting over a toy...I know...big surprise...right? One of the kids said, “This is my toy because I’m older than you and that makes me the boss.” Has anyone ever heard that one before?
The subject of authority and submission is a principal that affects all of us. It’s not just in the workplace. We find it in government, somebody leads and others follow. In marriage, somebody leads and somebody follows. In the military, somebody leads and somebody follows. In the family, somebody leads and somebody follows, and in the business world, somebody has to be in charge and somebody has to carry out the orders. But the key verse in this section that pertains to authority and submission is verse 9, specifically where it says, “there is no partiality with him.” Both parties need to understand mutual submission and learn to submit to each other. Both must be conscious of the needs of the other so that none have the right to dominate.
God does not favor one over the other. Both parties need to understand (Eph. 5:21) “submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” When leader and follower both submit to God, it brings to the surface the good of both.
• Think of the authority/submission relationships in your life. Is there mutual respect and care for each other? If not, what can you do to foster that relationship?
• We’ve all had a bad boss that has been threatening and domineering. Why do you think they are like that? What can you do to be a disciple maker in that situation?
• Action - Spend some time in prayer praising God for those who hold positions of authority and asking God to give them wisdom, discernment, and compassion (in Jesus).