Christians respect authority. To respect someone is to show them consideration because of their position or place in your life. For example, God’s Word tells children to respect their parents, church members to respect their pastors, citizens to respect the law, and employees to respect their employers.
The three verses that follow tell you to respect the people you work for.
These first century verses refer of “slaves” and the work they do for their “masters.” “Slaves” here in the NIV is translated “servants” in the KJV. Servants, whether voluntary or involuntary, comprised a large part of the labor force at that time, and many of these servants were Christians and members of local churches. In today’s context and in keeping with the spirit of the verses, employee and employer can be substituted for slave and master.
Evaluate the degree of respect you are showing your employer in light of the following:
1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”
As a modern day worker you have chosen your place of employment. First Peter 2:18 is telling you to submit to and respect your manager whether that person is good and considerate, harsh, or something in between. It doesn’t make any difference. When it comes to your job performance give your manager all respect.
To submit to your manager is to obey your manager. However, your manager’s authority is limited to ethical on-the-job matters in the workplace and during work hours only. You never have to perform any work that is illegal, immoral, or against God’s will.
You have workplace rights, and never have to submit to abuse, but you do have to do your job and respect your managers—as in showing them consideration—regardless of their temperament or management style. Why? Because God says so.
1 Timothy 6:1: “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.”
This verse is telling you to give full respect to your employer. Full respect is all, whole, and every kind of respect.
Honor all of your workplace commitments. This is your Christianity in action. Do this “so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.”
Ephesians 6:5: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”
A paraphrase of this verse could read, “Employees, obey your employers just as you would obey Christ.” Understand the objectives of your organization, and then do the work you are being paid to do. Fulfill all of your job responsibilities with a sincerity of heart.
Christian employees should be the best employees in every organization.