Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Work And Family - Colossians - Part 23

This next passage is clearly referring to work. It leaves the closed circle of the family but it doesn't travel very far. A family has an inheritance. There is a history. There may be money, things and land involved but even if there isn't the future meets the past in a family. Parents have good reason not to provoke their children. They are the future.

But a job may or may not have an inheritance. It should... but it may not.

"Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality." - Colossians 3:22-25 ESV

If you focus on the word bondservant (doulos - Strong's G1401 - which literally translated means slave) too much you can miss the nuance of the passage.

Also verse 25 seems kind of tacked on for good measure. Why talk of family then slavery and mention a payback for evildoers?

Inheritance ties it all together. The employer who works a person to the bone and gives no inheritance is the wrongdoer. Even if slavery has been outlawed in the land the workers might as well be slaves if there is no inheritance. Those employers are as wrong as the man who is harsh with His wife and provokes His children to wrath.

But that is how it is all over the world. People love in the closed circle of the home but they limit that love because they have a limited supply of love. The people they employ, work for or work with don't rate. They can be used as pack horses and they are treated as little more than replaceable resources.

God knows how it is. He doesn't see us that way. He gives an inheritance by grace. Every faith decision has a future reward and remembrance. He writes it all down in a book. His spiritual photo albums are full to overflowing. We who believe are His family. We have been brought in no matter how much or little we have to contribute and it makes all the difference.

God, please fill us with love. We want to bring more to the table than just a strong back and a full-time card. If our employers provide an inheritance make us thankful people. That is rare and noteworthy. Even if they don't we want to bring our eternal inheritance to work with us. Thank You God. We have a good provision. We have treasure in Heaven and it is all because You are so generous.


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