Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 1 Peter 2:18
Slavery is big business in first-century Rome, with as much as 1/3 of the population in some form of servitude. Slavery was undoubtedly degrading and dehumanizing. Romans enslaved people of all races. Slavery for poor people living in the Empire was often their best chance at upward mobility. Slavery may also be the only option if one has unpayable debt. As Peter’s letter is read, the enslaved in attendance hear that they are to submit to their masters. They are even to submit if their master treats them harshly.
Our closest parallel to this is work. Every work situation has an authority structure. Everyone reports to someone. Sometimes our supervisors are supportive and caring. But they can also be demanding and obnoxious. Peter is saying, “submit to your supervisor” no matter how they treat you. When we graciously submit, we are submitting to God himself, who placed this person in authority over us.
But the workplace is not the only space where we’re to submit. Students, in reverence to God, submit yourselves to your teachers—even when they seem to be unfair. Players, in reverence to God, submit yourselves to your coaches—even when you aren’t getting much playing time. Watch this video clip as Pastor Aaron Buer explains how we submit ourselves to all these authorities because Jesus asked us to.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Look for an opportunity to bring honor to someone in authority over you. Consider writing them a note or sending a text or email to thank them for their work. Tell them you appreciate their hard work and leadership.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
February is SABBATH. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.