Slaves: Satisfying Management Expectations

6908386_f520Second, slaves are “to be well-pleasing” (v. 9). The adjective “well-pleasing” (euarestos) refers to “that which causes someone to be pleased.” (Louw-Nida) It carries the idea of “customer satisfaction.”

Alan Carr tells a story about a man who was tired of his friends owning nicer homes than his, so he went to see a realtor to put his home on the market and began to search for a new one.

One day as he was reading the paper, he came across a listing for a home that seemed to be just what he was looking for. He called the realtor and said that he wanted to schedule a walk-through.

The realtor replied, “Sir, about that … you already own that home!”[1]

You can never satisfy everybody. But you can do the right things that will satisfy your superiors. Your boss is your customer. You should do everything that will satisfy his standards. If you will submit to your boss, you will please your boss. If you will serve him well, you will please him. If you will satisfy company standards, you will please the management.

I’ve done some bad things on the job when I was younger. But because I’ve worked hard and pleased my boss, my boss and his higher bosses forgave me and saved my career. If you satisfy the standards of your boss and company, you deposit more deposits into their “emotional bank accounts.” But if you do stupid things and offend your boss, you withdraw from his emotional bank account. The more wrong things you do, the more you withdraw from his emotional bank account. If you keep on doing wrong things, there will be nothing left to withdraw. You have over-withdrawn and it will affect your job.

Third, slaves should not be “argumentative” (v. 9). The verb for “argumentative” is antilego, which literally means, “speak against,” and thus, to “contradict” or “oppose.” (Gingrich) Paul used the same word in Titus 1:9—“So that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict [antilego] it.” Luke used the same word for the unbelieving Jews in Antioch, in Acts 13:45, “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict [antilego] what was spoken by Paul, reviling him.” The word can refer to stubborn opposition to a person of authority. “But of Israel he says, ‘All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary [antilego] people’” (Rom. 10:21).

The word “argumentative” is actually a present participle. The present participle functions as a verbal adjective describing the way slaves are to submit and please their masters. Slaves should not keep on contradicting their masters. Christian employees should not keep on opposing their bosses. It may take the form of active rebellion or passive resistance. It may show itself by talking back to your boss harshly, sarcastic comments, or defiant behavior. (Keathley)

Your bosses are more stressed than you. Sometimes, they will release their stress by scolding you. Just respond to them with grace and a smile. “A soft answer turns away wrath” (Prov. 15:15). Give a soft gracious answer, and it will diffuse the tension.

[1] “Just the House He Was Looking For,” Sermoncentral.com. Cited Feb. 11, 2017. Online: http://www. sermoncentral.com/illustrations/sermon-illustration-sermon-central-stories-83726.

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