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Under the Yoke

April 17, 2011

All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles. 1 Timothy 6:1-2

If you read and study 1 Timothy, and Paul’s other pastoral epistles, you’ll note two important concepts that the Apostle emphasizes time and time again. One is that certain behaviours don’t reflect positively on Christianity, and will, in fact undermine the message. The other is that Timothy was to constantly “prescribe and teach” the principles Paul was advocating in his letters.

One of the areas that could put Christians in a bad light is in the realm of work, given the general absence of slavery in modern culture. Christians in the workplace can quickly paint a winsome picture of Christ, or tarnish his image for many. Work hard and give respect to your superiors and you will be noticed, not so much for advancement, but for attributes uncommon to many. It will beg the question as to why the industry, why the energy, why the integrity? Be slothful or deceitful and blaspheme the name of the Lord and his doctrine (the word “spoken against”=blaspheme).  

Now if you have a believer as a boss, Paul says to work for him or her “all the more,” because you possess the ultimate benefits package. Don’t take advantage of their grace, or risk God’s admonishment and punishment through them.

On the contrary, you are in a position to bring them great joy and blessing if you do your work “heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Colossians 3:23

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