April 8, 2009 • By Ed Wrather
Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him. - Ephesians 6:5-9 NKJV.
Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven. - Colossians 4:1 NKJV.
During these difficult economic times (2009) there has been a wave of “bossnappings” in France. There is a previous history of bossnapping in France dating back to 1968 and into the 1970s. A bossnapping usually involves desperate workers being laid off, holding the boss hostage, demanding better terms. The bossnappers usually want guarantees of jobs, no sudden layoffs, and reasonable pay.
Long before the current economic problems there have been problems between employees and their supervisors. Thankfully (and hopefully), there are no longer bondservants or slaves in most modernized countries. Problems often arise in employee supervisor relationships when the employee is viewed as an object, a tool, or even as a slave by the supervisor. Often the employee feels trapped, and because of their financial situation is unable to simply quit and walk away from their job; which results in increasingly adverse workplace conditions.
While I was working in the oilfield, there was a term for those who suddenly quit or walked off from their employment usually because of poor working conditions and the relationship with their supervisor. The term used for that kind of behavior was for someone to “twist off.” The term came from when a string of drill pipe was lost in a hole when the pipe “twisted off.” I once twisted off after being cussed out in front of my crew for nothing that I had done, or that my crew had done. Two of my crewmembers after I had left then participated in a bossbeating. That is what happens in the real world when people are treated like slaves. People can be pushed to a point where it does not matter what the financial or other consequences may be, they simply will not take that kind of treatment any longer and there will be a rebellion. You could think of a group of people going out on strike as a more formalized form of this kind of behavior, and in France, they have bossnappings. So far, I have not heard of any bossbeatings, but that may be coming if things do not improve.
Having supervised large groups of men during sometimes very difficult conditions in the oilfield I know that the best way to keep operations running smoothly is to treat your employees as you would want to be treated yourself. I never asked anyone to do anything that I would not have been willing to do myself. The Golden Rule as stated by Jesus in Matthew 7:12 should be the Golden Rule not just in life, but also for employees, employers, and supervisors. Jesus says, “…whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
Here is an additional reason for employers and supervisors to observe the Golden Rule in their relationships with their employees: “…you also have a Master in heaven.”