6 All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. 2 Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.
I mentioned a similar passage to this that we find in Colossians in Cut and Paste Theology. It seems Paul uses slavery a couple times in his letters to drive in a very good point: it doesn’t matter what your work is, you should still behave in a way honoring to God. We can get very hung up on the slavery thing, using it as a way to say the bible promotes slavery. That is just a tactic the devil uses to distract us from what God is trying to tell us here.
Have you ever felt like you are a slave to someone? Maybe it’s your boss at work. Maybe it is the leader of a volunteer organization. Maybe its your spouse or parents. Whatever the situation is, Paul here is trying to call out the most oppressive position we could be in: an involuntary slave. Even slaves should honor their masters because it brings glory to God even if the slave master is a believer in Jesus Christ as Lord. Paul says you should even be more inclined to honor them. This verse ticks me off because my thought process tells me, “if they are true Christians, they shouldn’t even have slaves!” What is more detestable than being a slave? Being a slave to someone who shouldn’t even have them. This is what Paul is trying to wake us up to: radical love.
Radical love is the message of the bible. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ: love beyond measure and without reason. It is love that is unwarranted and in fact love that doesn’t make sense in our present give and take reality. All we know is conditional love. Even our “perfected love” in Christ is conditional, “we love because He first loved us.” If we could love the way God loves, then we would be God. We can be similar to Him and align ourselves with this type of love as much as possible and we would just be scratching the surface of His radical love. Jesus is love.
It is the love that loves others despite their oppression. It is the love that hugs someone who strikes you. It is the love that helps someone even though they stabbed you in the back. It is the love that forgives. It is the love that asks for forgiveness. It is the love that chooses to be selfless every day.
Will you love radically today?