THE MASTER IN HEAVEN

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:22-4:1

“Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Colossians 4:1)

This passage addresses our vocational life. We are told that our work matters to God. Employees are to work headily, as for the Lord (v. 23) and that through our vocation, whatever it may be, we are serving the Lord (v. 24).

But what about employers, owners, managers, and supervisors? This one sentence says it all — “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.” Those who have supervision over others must seek to be just and fair in their dealings with employees. There can be no partiality. We must treat all our employees equally. We must remember that those those of us who are responsible to supervise people are also under authority ourselves. We, too, have a Master who happens to be the Master of all.

Over the years I have developed a basic goal for providing leadership to those whom I give direction and oversight. I often say to our employees — we are a family and a team operating in a culture of brokenness and grace. We are first of all a family. We will treat each other like family. We will resolve conflict at work like we resolve it with our family at home. But we are also a team. We have a job to do. We are responsible to do our best because ultimately we are working for the Lord and because we get a paycheck. We are to earn what we are being paid.

The key is to develop a context, a culture of brokenness and grace. We must acknowledge that we are sinful people. We must stay humble because we are all failures. But God has loved us and accepted us. He has extended His grace to us. Therefore, we must be willing to extend grace to those with whom we work.

Master in heaven, I bow before Your supreme authority over my life and over all of Your creation. You are the Lord of all and I submit to Your leadership over my life. Grant me the ability to lead others in a just and fair way. Help me to be loving and gracious to those over which I have authority. I know that all authority ultimately comes from You.

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