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Servant Living

1 Peter 2.18-20
Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.
In today’s devotional passage, Peter addresses servants. We do not have an equivalent role in our culture so we do not even have a word for the role. A first-century Roman servant was like an employee who was paid for work and could even be trained for work like a doctor but did not have certain rights. Most servants earned money and could buy their freedom. Most of the servants who became Christians in Peter’s day were born into slavery. Neither the word servant nor slave is quite right in translation, but for us to consider how we ought to live out our faith in our work it is certainly appropriate for us to see employee/employer relations in this passage.

It is easy to work for a good employer. It is more difficult to work for an employer who is perverse or unjust. Peter encourages us to see all of our work as if we are doing it for the Lord because as Christians everything about our lives belongs to God. In the next few verses, Peter goes on to explain that we have been called to suffer as followers of Christ. Jesus suffered and throughout the New Testament we are reminded that we too will suffer.

We are gracious and we show God’s grace which we have experienced as believers when we are faithful and persevere in spite of the suffering we face. If we are disobedient, we expect to be punished. If we do what is good and right and still suffer for it, we are pleasing to God.

Do you do what is just and right even when it would be easier to get your own way? The freedom we have in Christ does not give us an excuse to live any way we choose. The freedom we have in Christ motivates us to do what is good.

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