Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 1 Peter 2:18 (NIV).
Here’s another bitter pill to swallow. Don’t just submit to the government: like it. More than that, if you’re enslaved, submit fully. Pray for your slave masters. Do it as if you’re praying for the person you love most. Seriously?
Who are we enslaved to now? Are the rioters enslaving innocent business owners? Is the government enslaving the rioters? Are you or I enslaved by our employers? Are children enslaved to their parents? Here in the West, who enslaves us?
Fact is, there actually are people who enslave us. Real slavery is still occurring, even in America, when people are trafficked. It happens in every major city and hundreds of smaller ones. Be on the lookout because it may even be happening in your neighborhood. What’s worse, in many places, legal authorities are in on the trafficking. The victims who are trafficked sexually, even vocationally, aren’t free. They are used and abused, and when their captor master is finished with them, most often they’re killed. We who learn of these things must dedicate ourselves to combatting this evil where we can, ending it where we can, freeing the enslaved.
Until this happens, are these modern slaves supposed to submit? The hard but true answer is “yes.” Yet even in this, submission is also submission to God, trusting that He will provide what they need, including an exit. Pray for endurance; pray for peace and healing; pray for your captors that they might be changed or disposed to help you; pray for help; be ready when it comes.
Yet don’t forget, too, that Peter reminds us to be slaves to God, and that Paul encourages us (in Romans) to be slaves to righteousness. We should fully, willingly submit ourselves to God and all He asks for. Our lives should be lived honor-bound to Him who redeemed us. We must look at ourselves as having only the freedom that God gives us through His love because, when we do, we find we are truly free indeed.
I suppose that I live in a Pollyanna-type of life here in the north Dallas suburbs. Bad things happen in the world and I seem sheltered from them, blithely sailing along from one bland moment to another. Yet all around me are people who live their lives as slaves to God, and they’re leading lives of rich meaning. And all around me are others who suffer, people who are mistreated. What can I do to help them? Whatever it is, it starts with submitting to God. Seriously.
For further reading: Romans 6:18, Peter 2:19
Lord Jesus, I’m Your slave. Use me for Your work today. And, Lord, help those who are victims of real earthly slavery. Protect them, heal them, and show me ways I can help stop this evil.