Text: I Peter 2:18-25

 

I.         Labor unions are lauded for the improvements they wrought in the workplace

            A.        By encouraging employees to act as one, many concessions have been won from companies

            B.        When the group appeals don’t sway an employer, strikes often will

                        1.         Strikes shutdown the “life blood” of a business, preventing the production of products

                        2.         Strikes also aim to prevent employers from hiring replacements

II.        The Bible tells us much about employer and employee relationships

            A.        In the New Testament times, people were self-employed, contract laborers (such as in the Parable of the Field Hands), or obligated to a long-term relationship

                        1.         Slaves or servants often was enter through some obligation (such as debt), being on the wrong side in a battle, apprenticeships, or a desire to gain something (such as Jacob’s 14 years of labor to marry Rachel)

                        2.         The service lasted until the obligation was fulfilled. It could be a few years or it could last a lifetime

            B.        Masters had to supply food, clothing, and shelter

                        1.         Servants became a part of the household

                        2.         Not surprisingly, since men are involved, some took good care of their servants and many did not

            C.        While the circumstances are not exactly the same, we can learn from them

                        1.         In many ways, we have it easier

                        2.         If you don’t like an employer, you can leave. You don’t have to stay with a bad boss for a lifetime

III.       Masters (Bosses and Employers)

            A.        Colossians 4:1 - Treat your employees justly and fairly, just as you wish to be treated by God.

            B.        James 5:4 - God will hold bosses accountable for their behavior

                        1.         Malachi 3:5

            C.        Ephesians 6:9 - Employees are not to be threatened

IV.      Servants (Employees)

            A.        Colossians 3:22-25 - Work for your boss as you would work for God

                        1.         Not just when they are present

                        2.         Do it to win their favor

                        3.         Work sincerely and with respect

            B.        Ephesians 6:5-8 - Again, notice with respect.

                        1.         How many respect their boss?

                        2.         You get to choose to some extent who you work for. These people often had no choice.

            C.        Respect is especially due when your boss is also a Christian - I Timothy 6:1-2

                        1.         Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt

                        2.         Sometimes familiarity causes too much “chumminess”

            D.        Titus 2:9–10 - Please your boss

                        1.         Do not talk back

                        2.         Do not steal!

            E.        I Peter 2:18-25 - Even when your boss is bad

                        1.         Look to Christ as our example

                        2.         Even harsh bosses get our respect

                        3.         Christ did not retaliate, should we?

V.        Should a Christian strike?

            A.        Should a Christian cause harm to his employer’s business?

            B.        Should he hurl insults?

            C.        Should we “strike” against God and His teachings?

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