“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust” (I Peter 2:18).
The word “servant” comes from the Greek word οἰκέτης; oiketes meaning a household slave or personal servant. While paid, they were often viewed by their superiors or masters as socially inferior.
God commands servants to be obedient or subject (ὑποτάσσω; hypotasso) to their masters. They were to do so on a daily basis. This is the same word we studied in I Peter 2:13 regarding a citizen submitting to governing authorities.
Servants were to submit with all reverence and respect (φόβος; phobos) for their masters. Peter addresses then not only outward behavior, but also inward attitudes. In other words, we do not just respect our boss because we like him/her but rather because God commands us to do so.
This behavior and attitude on the part of servants towards their masters was to be evident regardless of whether the master was either good or bad, gentle or harsh and unjust. The holy behavior and attitude is to be found in the believer because of their love and obedience to God and not based on the pleasantness of their circumstances: economic or otherwise.
The same can be said of us in our relationship to our employers, parents, and teachers. How do we speak of them and feel toward them when they are not around? Do we disrespect them around other people? Do we wish them ill? According to I Peter 2:18, this should not be.
Resolve today to be respectful to other people, and to even pray for them. You do not know what pressures they face or whether they themselves are believers in Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!