Peter tells us, in the Scripture below, that Christians are to respect those for whom they work…those within their sphere…even “the unjust” boss for whom they might work.
This was counterculture to the day. Our day is very different than Peters, yet developing a “servant’s heart” is also extremely counterculture to our world!
Truly, how many people do you know who talk about their boss or coworker with respect? How many revere those in their sphere who don’t agree with them or who might give them grief? How many have consistently gracious words to say about (or to) their spouse, children or parents?
My mind brings up a video of (one of the many) times I have been in a public place and observed a mom berating a child, not only with her words, but with the volume of her words. Often, I can see her glancing to the side to be certain that anyone within earshot (which would be everyone within football field range) is getting the message that she is “making her kid mind”. I can’t help but wonder what goes on in her home. Where, in this behavior, is the gentle and quiet spirit God has asked us to develop?
How do you and I talk about/treat those in our sphere who give us any level of resistance?
Peter’s instructions were not given in order that we would become a people of cowering doormats…backs bowed, ringing our hands, constantly frightened that we might do something wrong. His instructions were actually a way to honor God and show extraordinary strength through Him. His instructions were a way for us to change from the inside out and then…demonstrate the difference Jesus Christ makes in a life and…in a people.
Humility, patience, dedication to one’s job or calling…to one’s marriage and children is something that is winsome. It draws people to you, yes, but it draws them to the Reason you are the way you are. It draws them to the Hope that is within you.
Ego repels. Anger repels. Humility and love draw others to the Source of that love.
Jesus came to earth to draw people to Him. He came in order to offer us redemption and purpose. He was here to teach us by example. When He left this earth physically, His Spirit remained with us. His example and the strength of His Spirit enable us to offer those in our sphere the same example…the same love…the same salvation and the same, extraordinary purpose!
His intent was, and is, that we make a difference in the lives of those who come behind us!
1 Peter 2:11-20 (MSG) 11 Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it. Don’t indulge your ego at the expense of your soul. 12 Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices. Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives. 13 Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; 14 they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. 15 It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. 16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. 17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. 18 You who are servants, be good servants to your masters—not just to good masters, but also to bad ones. 19 What counts is that you put up with it for God’s sake when you’re treated badly for no good reason. 20 There’s no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you’re treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.