Listen to this while you read through Ephesians 6:1-9 again. Tomorrow we get into the Armor of God!
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
At it’s most obvious point, we should treat people radically different than the rest of the world. In a relationship that the world dictated that it was OK to treat a slave harshly and as nothing but property God called us to respect them. It is clear that the heart of Christ is to care and nourish one another. He cares about each individual and how they are treated. There is no additional statement that “this will bring them to obey more” or “and they will be loyal” instead it focuses on the fact that God is our master and that he respects all people equally.
I think the most crucial take home here is that we are called to act differently than the world in general. We are called to seek God’s Word when it comes to interaction with people. This was seen in all of the recent verses we have been going through. There is a stark difference between how a believer should act in the workplace, family life, etc. In a time when people were simply looked at as property (even children) God calls us to pay individual attention to others, to respect, and to love them.
God has been in the game of shaking up our interactions with others since the beginning and hasn’t stopped now. He wants us to realize the importance of our relationships. He wants us to realize the importance of that bond between other humans. Christ found worth in these slaves to sin (all of us) and was willing to cross the boundary in which was normal and DIED FOR US!
How does this effect us? Well, it calls us to assure our responses to people are in line with what God says, not the world. That means when we are talking about refugees, minorities, homosexuals, whatever group you want to insert here, when we are talking about/with people we are to obey the Word. The world may find deep fault in many things. It may be ok to talk negatively about people who are “taking advantage of our system.” It may be ok to treat people like they are meaningless but not if you are a believer. If you are a believer you HAVE to remember that God chose to humble himself and become one of these “worthless” creatures. He didn’t base our worth on our political or economical status. He didn’t chose to handle our salvation based upon our value to Him. Instead He chose to demonstrate unconditional love for all. He was willing to set aside everything HE was worthy of and let these creatures beat and kill Him.
Would you be willing to die for the disenfranchised and “worthless” people? Would you step in and lay down your life for someone who was not only seemingly worthless but also cursing your name? Christ did. He did it and asked us to do the same. So when you’re interacting with people or talking about people remember you have been called to live to a higher standard. Christ loves you, so love others.