1 Peter 2:18

18 You who are servants, be good servants to your masters - not just to good masters, but also to bad ones.

1 Peter 2:18 Meaning and Commentary

1 Peter 2:18

Servants, be subject to your masters
This was another notion of the Jews, that because they were the seed of Abraham, they ought not to be the servants of any; and particularly such as were believers in Christ thought they ought not to serve unbelieving masters, nor indeed believing ones, because they were equally brethren in Christ with them; hence the Apostle Peter, here, as the Apostle Paul frequently elsewhere, inculcates this duty of servants to their masters; see ( 1 Corinthians 7:20 1 Corinthians 7:21 ) ( Ephesians 6:5 ) ( Colossians 3:22 ) ( 1 Timothy 6:1 ) ( 2 Timothy 2:9 ) the manner in which they are to be subject to them is,

with all fear;
with reverence to their persons, strict regard to their commands, faithfulness in any trust reposed in them, diligence in the discharge of their duty, and carefulness of offending them: and all this,

not only to the good and gentle;
those that are good natured, kind, beneficent, and merciful; that do not use them with rigour and severity; are moderate in their demands of service; require no more to be done than what is reasonable; allow them sufficient diet, give them good wages, and pay them duly:

but also to the froward;
the ill natured, morose, and rigorous; who exact more labour than is requisite; give hard words, and harder blows; withhold sufficiency of food from them, and keep back the hire of their labours.

1 Peter 2:18 In-Context

16 Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules.
17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.
18 You who are servants, be good servants to your masters - not just to good masters, but also to bad ones.
19 What counts is that you put up with it for God's sake when you're treated badly for no good reason.
20 There's no particular virtue in accepting punishment that you well deserve. But if you're treated badly for good behavior and continue in spite of it to be a good servant, that is what counts with God.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.