Consider the Privilege of Work 1 Peter 2: 18
June 6, 2023, 8:56 AM

“Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”

God had made us for work. Genesis tells us that. It is a privilege for which we were created if we are physically and mentally capable.

Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “Trouble springs from idleness, toil from ease. Work with complaining lasts for years, while cheerful labor passes in minutes.” We have a privilege in our country. We are most fulfilled when we have work to do. We feel better about ourselves by being productive.

In Peter’s Day most people did not get to choose their work or employment. They often could not quit their jobs or they were self-employed in the training and footsteps of their fathersWe have rights in our nation that many in other parts of the world do not have. In the 1st century (Peter’s era) there were sixty million slaves.

Peter was writing when the Roman Empire was ruling. Like kingdoms before them, when they invaded another country they could take prisons of war, citizens and soldiers, and turn them into slaves. Slaves then were not necessarily people of lower class, uneducated and untrained. Some of them were professionals: doctors and leaders, scholars and teachers. Sometimes they had rights. Sometimes they did not.

The Roman government had slaves doing most of their work. They were under the complete authority of their masters who bought them and owned them.

In our labor, there are many situations where we think circumstances are unfair. There are times when we are called upon to be under authority at school, with the police, in a courtroom, in the military services, in jail or a prison. As long as we have people, we will not always have fairness or justice.

The Bible tells us we will be misused and abused for our faith in Christ. Let God work through those circumstances. It is proper to appeal to the laws and privileges of our land, since we have recourse for illegal or unethical treatment. In most incidents we have the freedom of quitting our jobs. But when someone in authority is making you so angry that you feel like lashing out, don't do it. Submission is turning the matter over to the Lord and allowing Him to do His work. Just as many slaves were used of God to advance His kingdom and lead many masters to faith in Christ, so God may have you in your present position for an eternal reason.

Application: Many slaves came to faith in Christ. Yet, they had no freedom. How should they act as Chris, tians to unsaved masters? What if their masters became Christians? Should they react differently to Christian masters? Peter tells them to submit to their masters with all respect. If you are slave and belong to Jesus Christ, then be the best slave possible.

Prayer:  Lord, when conditions in my world do not match my how I think they should be, teach me to submit to You. You know all things and work them together for our good.