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WEEK 5 | Day 25: 22 Mar - Master and Domestic Helper


"Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him."

(Ephesians 6:5-9)


Slaves played a significant part in most societies of that day. No ancient government ever considered abolishing slavery as it was such an instrumental part of the Mediterranean economy.

Today, we do not sanction slavery. What we have working in many of our homes are foreign domestic workers/helpers. They have also become a very integral part of our economy and society. Many parents work and so need a helper at home to do the housework.

Paul’s exhortation regarding how slaves should be treated in his days are applicable today. During Paul’s days, many slaves and owners had become Christians and the church had to deal with the question of slave/master relations. Masters and slaves had to learn how to live together in Christian households. Masters of the house should see that ultimately the Lord is their Master. So slaves ought to be treated with respect and dignity.

Slaves, on the other hand, were to obey the commands and desires of their masters: this was their duty because of the authority of their master. Paul advised the slaves to treat their earthly masters with deep respect and fear (reverence and honor).

Paul neither condemned nor condoned slavery in his words. Paul was merely advocating a new kind of relationship between masters and slaves based not on power but on mutual affirmation and love.

Today, we have thousands of helpers living and working in our homes. How do we view them? It would be good to appreciate that they come from a family they left back home and they may have problems of their own: loneliness, debts, problems back home, and plain tiredness from endless tasks. Singaporeans are busy people and having a helper costs quite a tidy monthly sum. So logically owners feel the right to maximize every cent. But, in the light of today’s devotional reading, we need to reflect upon our attitudes toward our helper?


(1) Do you realize that your helper also needs rest?

(2) Do you willingly give them their rest day?

(3) Do we treat them fairly and with respect?

(4) Do we treat our employees as people and not as machines?

(5) Meditate further from Deuteronomy 5:12-15 and what it says concerning how we should be treating the foreigners living in our land.

Remember that no matter whom you work for and no matter who works for you, the One you ultimately should want to please is your Father in heaven.


Pray that all Christian families and “masters” will relate with their helpers in ways that will be pleasing to the Lord, our MASTER. Pray that we will have God’s compassionate heart for all. Amen.


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