What do you say to a slave? Down through the centuries Christians have been slave holders and we have fought to free the slaves. When the Apostle Paul spoke to people who were slaves he did not advocate for their release, though if you look at the book of Philemon, he does move somewhat in that direction. But here he speaks to slaves in their situation as slaves, and he calls upon them to do the same thing that he asked the wives and husbands and children to do. And that is to glorify God no matter what situation you are in. Even as a slave, Paul called upon these people to do good work with God as their audience, not man. And he even promises that God would reward them for their sincere, heart-felt service.
Paul couldn’t do much to free the slaves of the Roman empire, but he did transform the entire way they understood their lives, bringing dignity and honor to their work. Furthermore, he did seek to bring improvement to their lives as he calls upon their masters to treat these people with respect, declaring to them that God was going to hold them responsible for the way they treated their slaves. The word of God contained the seeds that would free the slaves one day. But the amazing thing to see in this is that, when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, everything is transformed. Human relationships take on a new flavor, our work and our role in life take on a whole new meaning, and our lives are transformed from being a daily grind to being the center of our walk with God.
As you go back to the salt mines today, remember to do your work sincerely, as unto the Lord. And remember to take care of the people who are around you, knowing that the Lord will reward you for all of it.