THE SLAVE GIRL IS GODS DAUGHTER
The word slave is extremely demeaning. It was popularly used in ancient times when slave trade prevailed. Young girls and boys were bought or hired from families or communities to serve their masters or mistresses. Their duties were to do the demeaning jobs, be treated as less human and receive no respect. To term a human being as a slave girl or slave boy is unjustified attempt to reduce Gods image in that person (Genesis 1:26) to an unfortunate, insignificant and less human being.
Unfortunately, despite the abolishment of slave trade, many still hold on to the erroneous ideology that a fellow human is a slave to them. No wonder we see the shocking level of oppression and hatred with which many (including Bible believing Christians) treat their household helps and maids. What is the reason for these anomalies? One might be tempted to ask. The answer lies in the anti-Christian mentality of placing oneself above others and seeing others as less fortunate or insignificant.
This mentality of seeing oneself as most fortunate or endowed is one nauseating culture that has passively registered into the psych of many believers and non-believers alike that religion or professed Faith has not been able to erase it completely from them. Humans have been labelled as worthless and stripped of their moral and basic rights.
Most threatening among these alienations is the exclusion from their right to profess their faith in God. In most cases they are left behind to take care of the house chore while their masters or mistresses go to church to worship God. Even on few occasions where they are taken along, it is merely to attend to the children while the service or church programme is going on. But they fail to understand that “The duties of justice come first before the duties of worship” said Rev. Fr. George Ehusani.
In our fellowships, the ministers of the Good News address us as brothers and sisters in Christ” because in the eyes of God we are truly brothers and sisters, men and women with dignity. We are not address as masters and slaves, superior and inferior beings. Why? The slave girl or slave boy is Gods daughter or son. And if God himself being great above all did not regard us as His slaves but as His children, what rights have we to rob our fellow human beings of their dignity? What rights have we to reduce them to insignificant beings? The society may fail to see them as significant persons but as Gods children we must recognize them as valuable and Gods gifts; we must see them as true brothers and sisters in Christ or at least see them as people made in the image and likeness of God.
The first book of the Holy Scripture taught us that the reason while God created more than one person after creation of the world was for companionship a need for a helper and comforter (See Genesis 2:18-23). Our maids and subjects are also helpers because of the role they perform. It would be wrong for us to reduce them to nothing in spite of their circumstances in life. If they were nothing before they had an encounter with us, Christian virtues demands that we make them valuable in life because the love of Christ dwells in our hearts. We can confidently say we are our brothers keeper when we treat others lovingly (even our subjects).
Interestingly, Gods blessings are enormous for those who have realized the hidden secret of showing love and respect to their servants. The story of Naaman and his serving girl is a vivid example. He was cured of his deadly disease leprosy because his serving girl told him about a great man of God that could heal him Prophet Elisha. (See 2 Kings 5:1-15). Now here is one truth that many ignore in this story. The serving girl would have kept the news about Prophet Elisha to herself had her master been mistreating her. The act she did was out of love for the treatment received from her master.
Our maids can either be a tool of blessing or a curse. Our attitude towards them plays a pivotal role. Remember they prepare our meals, take care of our children and they know most of the daily activities in our homes. They were created in the image of God, hence the reason why they prepare our meals with a godly heart – without harming us or our children. We too must treat them as Gods gifts to humanity, His valuable children.
I know many folks will say: I must get the value I pay them for!” Yes, but this is not enough reason to strip them of their dignity. We are only privileged by God over them and God did not bless us to suppress, mistreat and demean His children created in His image and likeness. We are blessed to be a blessing to others. I am glad there are some persons who treat their servants as their own children or true brothers and sisters in Christ. God will surely reward them for their acts of love.
Beloved, just imagine if God decides to make us the maid and our maids our masters or mistresses. How we would have loved to be treated? Instead of us reflecting on this question, many of us will be quick to say God forbid. The same God is forbidding us from mistreating, demeaning or dehumanizing our fellow brothers and sisters Gods children. Think about it! As Christs followers, nothing on earth is more important as love for God and neighbour, the rest is vanity.
On judgment day, Christ will only ask us how much we loved Him and the people we had an encounter with while we were on our earthly pilgrimage and not how much authority we exercised or the material things we acquired. For Christ said, whatever you did to the least of My brothers and sisters, you did unto Me.” (See Matthew 25:31-46).
Therefore, let us treat our maids, drivers, cleaners, subordinates with the love and the fear of God. We must pray before we employ them for Gods guidance and discerning spirit. And we must never stop to pray after employing them for God to grant them a saintly heart and to shield our household against the evil ones or the influence of the devil.
Do you see your workers or subordinates as Gods beloved children? Do you see your status as master or mistress as a privilege to love and serve God and your neighbours? Do you know God loves your subordinates just the way He loves you?
Heavenly Father, grant me the grace to love and treat everyone who will have an encounter with me with the same love Christ showed me on the cross of Calvary and on a daily basis. Amen.
Jesus Christ Speaks
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35 NRSV).