‘You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God.
‘…But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.
‘Like a man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with severity in your sight.
And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Today, please consider the above collection of verses about how we “rule over” one another in the workplace.
Both in the Old Testament and the New, the Lord called His people who had servants to treat them with respect. Paul had to ask his Christian brothers to “give up threatening.” If it wasn’t happening then there would be no need to tell those men to give up threatening.
Some guys only have one way to communicate…bark out orders. They do not know how to sit down and reason with someone. The concept of looking at the other person as someone who has a brain and has value is foreign to them. Do what I say or else. It’s my way or the highway. If someone brings up an opposing idea or another way of doing things, they get defensive and blow up. Any one who dares challenge them is treated like dirt, shut down and cast aside. The volume goes up along with the intensity and then people just back down and cower from fear and give in to their ways. As long as you march in step with them, you have nothing to fear.
Have you worked for a boss like that? Have we treated others like that?
This is not the spirit of Christ, nor was it the spirit that God wanted of His people in the Old Testament.
Give up threatening. Don’t rule with severity. Think of what these passages teach, especially the one in Ephesians 6:9.
- Remember that the people who serve you belong to God. All of us belong to God. Everyone of us is created in the image of God. One of the ways to help you give up threatening is to see the eternal value of the people you are trying to lead. We can get so consumed with our own importance or our own mission that we fail to see the relationships and the value of those relationships.
- Keep in mind that you have a Master in heaven. He is watching. He will judge, and there is no partiality with Him. If we mistreat others, God is the one to whom we will report.
- You should show the same attitude and spirit to them. Notice Eph. 6:9 says, “do the same things to them.” Those same things are laid out for you in Ephesians 6:5-8. The servants were to do the will of God from the heart with sincerity, and the masters were to do the same things. God asked the servants to keep their eyes on Him with a spirit of fear and trembling, and He asked the same things from the masters. There are not two sets of rules, but sometimes we can live that way. We would never accept the kind of treatment that we deal out to others. God says live by the same rules.
Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.