by J. Gerald Harris

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Look in verse 18 (read). The word he uses here is not the usual Greek word for servant, "doules," but rather "oiketai" which signifies anyone living under the Roman government. Every man, woman and child of every nation that had been conquered by the armies of Rome was a part of the "oiketai." They were all slaves to the Roman government. Those included were doctors, teachers, musicians, actors, secretaries and businessmen. In fact, all the work of Rome was done by slaves.

Some of the people who lived under Roman domination had good masters, and others had harsh masters. But Peter tells these servants that regardless of what kind of master they had, that for the sake of the Lord, they were to be good servants. To be sure, it is irritating and disconcerting to work for difficult people, but the child of God must ever be mindful of his high calling as a witness for Christ. We're to serve our employers, no matter how harsh they may be, with industry and efficiency.

Sometimes Christians become very critical of their boss or the company that employs them. What a tragic mistake! If we have prayed about the matter and the Lord has placed us in a certain place of employment, what right have we to complain. It is so easy to become a chronic grumbler. The sincere believer should be far more concerned about reforming himself than about criticizing others. Putting your best foot forward doesn't mean to kick about everything. Even though things aren't just as you would have them at the office or at the plant, criticizing your employer or company policies will never remedy the situation. If you are a Christian, there is too much at stake to stoop to the influence of the sinful flesh. We should perform our duties as if Jesus Christ were our boss, and as if our only reward was coming from heaven.

Never overlook the fact that our Lord was misunderstood too. They called Him a winebibber, a deceiver, a cohort of evildoers, and they sought to link His sanctified efforts with ...

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