Give Up Threatening. This verse concludes a section on the relationship between masters and slaves. We are expanding the meaning to that of all persons in authority over another.
9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
Three simple words, yet how seldom they are obeyed! This verse concludes a section on the relationship between masters and slaves. We are expanding the meaning to that of all persons in authority over another. Slavery does not exist in our country, but we certainly have those who have authority over others in the workplace.
Why is it that when those under our authority do not quickly do as we ask we are so often tempted to resort to threatening? Does it work? Not really! There is something about our makeup which causes us to respond better to the carrot approach rather than to the stick.
Why did Paul tell us to give up threatening? "Knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him." In other words, the underlying cause of our threatening is our own feeling of superiority over that individual or group of individuals.
As a young child, I quickly learned to rate people in my class. I rated them by how rich they were, how beautiful or handsome they were, and how intelligent they were. I never put myself at the top of my "rating scheme" but, then, neither did I put myself at the bottom. Who did I try to emulate or befriend? Those I rated above me, of course.
Not until becoming a believer did I begin to understand how wrong this view was. If God rated us, where would we be? We would all be at the bottom! None of us would deserve His love or favor. None of us would be worthy of His love, grace, and salvation!
Let us look at the example of Christ, Himself. Who is He? He is the Son of God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Yet, when He came to this earth, did He enter into a kingly palace? Did He parade Himself before only those whom He felt were worthy of His attention? No! The very practice of the Lord Jesus to go to the poor, the unloved, and the sinners was one of the reasons He was so despised by the religious leaders of His day.
If Jesus, Himself, shows no partiality to us, then why do we deem it necessary to show partiality to one another? Let us take a quick survey of the way we interact with people--both those who are under our authority and those who are over us in authority. How do we fare in our own appraisal?
None of these commands are easy for us to obey; they all fly in the face of our natural tendencies. Let us then fall before the Lord Jesus Christ and seek His help to treat those under our authority with patience, love, and grace. Rather than threatening them, let us lead them gracefully, in love, just as the Lord Jesus Christ leads us.
And, for those in authority over us, let us bear with patience their leadership. If God has placed a person over us who uses threatening to gain obedience, let us pray for patience in dealing with them. We need to understand that God has put them over us for a reason. Often the best lessons we learn are the hardest ones to learn.
Coming to Christ is just the beginning of a new life--a life which does not mirror the lives of our culture. By the grace of God, let us seek to please Him in all things and may he help us in our leadership roles to give up threatening!