Paul continues the Lord’s instructions for human relationships in teaching on how to be a good servant. The application is for anyone who is a subordinate of another in the context of labor or service. Any employment given to men by men stands to benefit in regards to these commands.
The Biblical prescription for employees, servants, and subordinates in the work place?
“…obey in everything those who are your earthly masters…”
“…work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
Paul teaches that all requests of earthly bosses and masters are to be taken seriously. We are to serve men in a genuine and whole-hearted way, not in a for show, pretend, lazy behind their backs way. The reason Christians are to work in this way is because of our fear and respect for the Lord. That way, the attitude and advocacy of the boss makes no difference regarding our job performance. We are not working to appease unruly bosses, we are working to please the Lord. Even when we are treated unjustly and harshly, we remember that the Lord will give us our due.
Paul reminds us that God is impartial to men and that he favors no one based on status, position, race, or ethnicity. God is completely just and will repay each of us for the work we have done as well as the way we have done it.
Paul also tells masters, aka, leaders, bosses, CEOs, etc., that God is watching. He warns those in authority over others that they must treat their subordinates well lest they be judged by the true Master in heaven.
If you are a servant, employee, or subordinate of someone else, work hard and obey them as if they Lord were the one commanding you. If you are a boss, leader, master, or person with any authority over others, be fair and just dealing with your subordinates as you would have the Lord deal with you.
If the instructions on work ethics found here in Colossians were taken seriously, the vast majority of the problems seen in the work place would be eliminated.