“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.” (Ephesians 6:9 (ESV)
“Even a bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.” — Fisherman’s Friend Notebooks
I am not a fisherman. Please do not hold that against me. I also tried golf as a hobby, but I did not like the person I became on the golf course. A hobby is supposed to relax you. Golf, however, made be incredibly tense and angry.
So, I took up biking. I enjoy riding my bicycle throughout the recently made bike trails in the county in which I live. The trails are paved and reserved solely for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. I invested in a rather nice bicycle. It may not be as fancy or as fast as some others I could have bought, but I enjoy it and it fits my needs.
What do hobbies have to do with work? Take notice of the quote I included in today’s blog. Some people, no matter how good a day of work they could have, would rather spend their time having a bad day of fishing or having played a bad round of golf. For all too many people, work is just plain difficult or work makes them miserable. Why? Perhaps, one of the reasons could be their boss or employer.
This does not mean that it is always the boss’ fault when work is a chore rather than a blessing. A lot of people’s disdain for their work has to do with their attitude about work in general, and their job in particular. However, this does not mean that employers have no responsibilities regarding the fostering of a pleasant work environment for their employees.
Ephesians 6:9 picks up where Ephesians 6:5-8 left off. The Apostle Paul says, “Masters, do the same to them.” In our culture, masters would be our boss. This would include our immediate supervisor and even the owner of the company. If employers expect their employees to respect and have loyalty, then employers must reciprocate and show their employees respect and loyalty in return.
Additionally, Paul concludes that employers should not threaten their employees. In the opening scenes of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this is exactly what Ebenezer Scrooge does to his sole employee, Bob Cratchett. He constantly threatens to fire him if Bob does not abide by every one of Scrooge’s idiosyncrasies. It isn’t until after Scrooge has had his encounters with the ghostly visitors, that he changes his behavior and at the conclusion of the story treats Bob with the respect and loyalty that Bob always showed him.
Why should employers behave in such a God honoring way? It is because the Lord is the God of both people groups: employers and employees. God does not play favorites. He is impartial. He will judge the wicked employer as well as the wicked employee. Likewise, He will bless the godly employer along with the godly employee.
Let us keep in mind the concluding lines of Dickens’ timeless classic. “Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but lived upon the Total Abstinence Principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!”
May the Lord give all of us, employers and employees alike, a blessed day.
Soli deo Gloria!