Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Servants By Choice

2 Kings chapter 5 tells the account of Naaman the leper. In this story, we learn a lesson about the world of work.

Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, "Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy."
(2 Kings 5: 2-3, ESV).

A captive Jewish maid was looking out for the welfare of her master. Why?

Her master was a Syrian, an enemy of the people of Israel. She had been captured and taken away by force from her family and friends. Why should she care if his leprosy was cured? Why should she care if her master lived or died? Perhaps the answer is found in the words of that famous Puritan commentator, Matthew Henry:

This little maid, though only a girl, could give an account of the famous prophet the
Israelites had among them. . . As became a good servant, she desired the health
and welfare of her master, though she was a captive, a servant by force;
much more should servants by choice, seek their masters' good.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary [2 Kings 5] cited at

As employees, we are "servants by choice." We should seek our masters' (employers') good in all that we do. That means, of course, not stealing paper clips or pens from the office. But more than that, we should desire to see the company prosper—not because of our own job security—but because it benefits our boss—another human being, one created in the image of God. We should always seek the good of others. As Christ said, "love one another" and as Paul instructs us, "serve one another," "comfort one another," "bear one another's burdens" and on it goes.

We are to follow the "one anothers" of Scripture—for those that we love, as well as those that are "masters" over us.

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