Good morning my friends. One should never attempt to use a key board on less than three hours sleep. I have read somewhere that being so tired is worse than being drunk. It goes without saying then that keyboards and driving should be set aside if one is either exhausted or intoxicated. So allow me to say what I need to say and then I will set this thing aside.
In 1 Timothy 6 we find these words written by Paul to his young friend Timothy:
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2)
Setting aside the obvious problem of slavery, there is something in what Paul is saying that should be striking home about now. We should never take advantage of a brother simply because he is a believer. Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever had greater expectations than you should have of someone just because they are a Christian? Has that ever happened to you? Did someone take advantage of you by not paying a bill, taking short cuts in their job, going home earlier than agreed upon? How did it make you feel? Taken advantage of? Used? Disrespected? All of these things? I think the worse things a Christian can be is a landlord or the principal of a church-school. Some people act as if they are doing you a favour by paying their bill. They also act as if you owe them something. Paul writes:
Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them.
It is out of respect as believers that we do not take advantage of our brothers and sisters but instead honour and respect them. Respect aught to be a big part of who we are and what we do. If we treat our brothers and sisters like they are there to personally bless us and help us get ahead in life we will never understand the heart of Jesus. Far from dishonouring anyone, Jesus gave his very best to all of us. He honoured us with a gift far greater than we could possibly deserve. Having received this gift we should know enough to be able to respect and honour even those who oppose us. If this was Paul's expectation for those under the yoke of slavery, how much more should it apply to those of us who are free.
Lord, help us to honour you by honouring our fellow believers in love. May we be a blessing to them and to you in everything we do and say today. Amen!