In these words spoken by Peter we see faith and obedience. Those are the two things that GOD mainly requires of us. Of course there are great ramifications and a great world of meaning to those two things. But those are the two things that GOD is looking for in us.
'Whatsoever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the LORD.'
Now he may not receive the same kind.
Peter said to YESHUA on one occasion:
'LORD, we have left all and followed You. What shall we have? What's our reward going to be? And YESHUA said, 'Whoever has left father, or mother, or wives, or children, or lands, or houses for My sake, shall receive a hundred fold more in this life, and in the world to come, life everlasting; but in this life, you will also have persecution.' So we may lose father, mother.
My parents never, to my knowledge, became Believers. But I found lots of parental figures in the family of GOD. My relatives are not Believers, except for my brother, and perhaps, my sister. But I have brothers and sisters; I have all kinds of brothers and sisters! I know of people who have been turned out of their homes, but GOD gave them homes of Believers where they could find refuge. So it may not be the same, but it's the same in degree. And we receive from the LORD.
Now the LORD usually uses men to give to us. YESHUA said,
'Give and it shall be given to you, good measure, shaken together, pressed down and running over shall men pour into your lap.' That means as we seek to minister to others, the Proverb comes into focus:
'He that watereth, will be watered also himself.' As you seek to be kind to others, you find that you get it returned with interest to yourself. You receive of the LORD.
And here is another motivation: If you've learned to serve well, you'll be a good boss. If you've learned how to obey orders, you will know how best to give them, and people will be happier to have you as their boss, because you've known what it is to be in their shoes. Here's another motivation for us: Slavery or liberty make no difference; whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the LORD whether he is a slave or free.
Now we come to masters, to the boss. Verse 9:
'And you, masters, do the same things to them.' What does He mean?
'Do the same things to them'? Well we find that what He has been teaching the servants to do is to respect; to honour; and to give way to the other person. And what GOD is saying here to the boss, the Believing boss is: 'Respect your employees, and give way to them if necessary. There will be some times where the employee knows better than the boss; and it's a wise boss that will listen to his employee.
Naaman, the Syrian, had come all the way from Syria, from Damascus, to Elisha in Samaria to be healed of his leprosy. Elisha sent a messenger boy out to tell him,
'Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be healed.' Naaman was insulted. He said, 'This is a muddy old river here, this river Jordan. We've got beautiful rivers back there; Abana and Pharpar, they're beautiful rivers. Couldn't I wash in them and be clean? Did I have to come all these hundreds of miles just to be told to take a bath; to take a wash? May I not wash in those rivers and be clean?' And he went away in a rage. He thought, 'Surely this Prophet will realize how important I am; what a great man I am. 'Surely', he thought, 'he'll come out and he'll stand and he'll call on the Name of his GOD, and he'll strike his hand over the place and make me whole. Instead he just sends me a messenger boy to tell me to go and wash in the river Jordan.' He went off in a rage.
But one of his servants came up to him,
'My father, if the Prophet had told you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more if he tells you to do something that is so easy?' We don't read that Naaman turned round to his servants and said, 'You're quite right.' What we read next is:
'He went to the river, and he dipped himself under seven times.'
He was a good boss. He was a General, he was a mighty man; he was a man of honour with the King of Syria, but he didn't forget; he didn't ignore his servant. He listened to his servant. That was a good boss. And that's what bosses are meant to be; to take into consideration the wishes, the thoughts, the ideas of their employees. Do the same things to them. Submit to their opinions, because sometimes they may be right, and you may be wrong. Don't throw your weight around; giving up threatening. That what it says; don't abuse your authority! You can threaten not only by words, but by the look; you can look at a person in such a way that he shakes in his shoes, and he feels his job security is gone.
Don't do that! It should never be found in a Christian boss that he looks at his employees in such a way that they're scared of him. No, forbearing threatening! Give up this kind of thing. The reason is:
'Knowing that your own Master also is in Heaven,' and there is 'no partiality with Him.' We have a common Master; whether I'm the boss; whether I'm the employee; the same GOD is our Master, and He is over us. Therefore, we must remember that He doesn't care about our status in society; but He cares about what kind of reflection of Him we are giving to people. Are people able to look at the Christian boss, at the Believer, and say, 'That man is a man of GOD,'or 'that woman is a woman of GOD? They treat us fairly.'