Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses (1 Peter 2:18-25) *Verses in NLT*

– Have you ever had a horrible boss? What did you do about it? (Quit, suffer, passive resistance?) 

– Sometimes bosses are horrible because they are not good leaders, they don’t know how to be a boss, or they are copying the example of all the bad bosses they’ve had. 

– Some bosses are horrible because they are selfish, and it’s all about them. They use their power to have the best stuff, the first choice, the best opportunities… usually at your expense.

– Some horrible bosses are just mean and cruel people! For no reason! (Example: Motor-T school instructors… cursing us, holding us late in formation, messing with our cleaning…)

– God isn’t going to judge you based on how horrible your boss is, or how much “hardship” you have had to go through, but on how you honored Jesus while going through it all. 

– It’s not about your circumstances, it is about how you respond to those circumstances.

1 Peter 2:18-25 (NLT), You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect (meaning, “because you fear God”). Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed. 25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.

1. It doesn’t matter that you have a “horrible boss”.

– Verse 18, You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect

– This, IN NO WAY, is an endorsement of slavery! God hates the entire concept of it. It simply reflects the reality in which they lived. Peter can’t change the system, only help people endure within it. 

– “Master” is like a boss that you can’t quit, like the military, or prison… The idea is not to just change jobs and avoid it… which you CAN do. The point is to live your life in an honorable way. 

– The word “respect”, is literally translated, “with all fear”. Not fear of your master, but “because you fear God”. Submit to your horrible boss because you have the utmost respect and fear for the God you are really serving with your life.

Verse 18 cont., Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment.

– Like Pastor Crystal said last week, Don’t obey, if what they want you to do violates God’s laws!

– Remember, the work you do, and life you live, represents the God you serve! 

– How you endure and behave during unfair and unjust circumstances speaks loudly!

2 Tim 2:15, Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 

Col. 3:17, And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

– The Apostle Paul says something very similar to what Peter is saying…

Col. 3:22-25, Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. 23 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. 24 Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. 25 But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites.

– This verse leads me into my next point…

2. It’s not about how your boss behaves. It’s about you behave!

1 Peter 2:20-21, Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. 21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you…

– There are several examples of Godly men in the bible who endured unjust persecution from a corrupt government. These stories sound a lot like ones we hear of today.

Daniel was a captive of the Babylonians, but found favor because he was so honorable and could interpret dreams. He was very open about God giving him the power, and openly worshipped God. 

– His enemies tricked the king into making a law that no one could worship anyone but the king, or be thrown into the lion’s den… and this happened…

Daniel 6:10-11, But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. 11 Then the officials went together to Daniel’s house and found him praying and asking for God’s help. 

– He was thrown into the lion’s den, but God shut the mouths of the lions.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, also captives in Babylon, they were subject to a law that required them to bow down and worship a giant golden statue, then this happened…

– They wouldn’t worship the king’s gods and refused to bow. The king found out and was enraged and threatened them with death in the fiery furnace.

Daniel 3:15-18, I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?” 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

– The king threw them in the furnace, but Jesus was with them, and when the came out they didn’t even smell like smoke!

Paul and Silas cast a demon out of a child, then this happened…

Acts 16:22-26, A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. 23 They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. 24 So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. 25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! 

– They were free to go, AND the prison guard and his whole family got saved that night!

We see pastors receiving similar treatment today around the world. In China, house churches raided. Pastors handcuffed mid-service. Churches demolished. Christians arrested, interrogated, and imprisoned for who knows how long.

Example: May 2021, Pastor Yang, on his way to another town to do ministry was seized by CCP police, taken to the police station, and brutally beaten to the point of being hospitalized. This is not the only persecution he had faced…

– In 2015, his church, Living Stone Church, was forcibly shut down by the government, and in 2016 all property was stolen and sold.

– At that time, CCP officials seized Pastor Yang, falsely charged him with “deliberately divulging state secrets,” and sentenced him to serve 2.5 years in prison. 

– During Pastor Yang’s imprisonment, his wife publicly proclaimed that neither the CCP’s persecutions nor attacks will shake her husband’s faith.

– After his release, he was under constant scrutiny and intense surveillance.

– One month after his release, his was visited by another pastor who came to encourage him. As they met, they encouraged each other to “hold fast to the faith.” 

– Three months later, CCP authorities arrested that other pastor and imprisoned him. 

– God is definitely pleased with these saints and their patient endurance during persecution!

– This is why it frustrates me when Christians use unfair circumstances as an excuse to behave in an ungodly way! When you get mad about what the world is doing, don’t let it bring you to sin. 

– As a Christian, you are an example of what that should mean, to the non-believer. 

1 Cor. 5:20, So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

– Can others hear the appeal of Christ through you… over the sound of your own complaining?

– Reflect on this: How are Christians viewed in the society? How do you contribute to that? Are you known more for what you’re against, or what you’re for? How does the bible say it should be?

1 Peter 2:12, Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

– If Christians lived by this verse, would it change the narrative? 

1 Peter 1:17, And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.”

3. Jesus is the ultimate example of how to live honorably in an unjust world.

1 Peter 2:21-24, For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. 22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. 23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. 24 He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

– We should strive to follow Christ’s example in ALL things!

– Even in persecution and suffering, he didn’t sin, or deceive, or make threats, or even complain!

– He did not retaliate! He did not seek his own justice, but let the Father fight his battles!

– Jesus died to forgive our sins when we were his enemy. We are healed and set free because Jesus patiently endured INjustice!

1 Peter 2:25, Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.

– Come back to Jesus, change how you are living, drop your offenses, let Jesus fight your battles, begin to follow his example today. 

– Stop making excuses for your attitude about your “horrible bosses” or circumstances, because YOU are responsible for YOU. Trust that God is big enough to sort all the rest of it out. – prayer –

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