“Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”
This verse has a poor chapter division. Colossians 4:1 belongs to chapter three, with its focus on various roles in the Christian life.
The “master” in our society is the employer.
“give your bondservants what is just”
Paul places his finger upon the supreme issue for the Christian employer. Disregarding fairness and justice is the vulnerability of the supervisor. However, Paul is not asking that the employer treat all employees alike. He is to treat them with justice, with what they have duly earned. Some are better workers than others and should be rewarded on that basis. The issue here is not social equality but fair dealing with employees.
God does not want the employer to care more for money than for employees. The employer is not to think of his employees in an impersonal manner. The employee’s paycheck should reflect that he is a human being! Reciprocity is God’s norm. This personal care is not equality of condition but brotherly equality.
“knowing that you also have a Master in heaven”
One day all employers will stand before God in heaven. He will have the last word as to how people treated their employees.
Employers should treat employees like they want God to treat them. The employer will stand accountable before God. This phrase commits the Christian businessman to Christian standards in his business.
God expects employers to treat their employees in a just and fair manner.
Are you even-handed with your employees? Do you treat your employees partially?
The principles of justice and equality on the employer side are based on the person of God. God uses the employer who operates like Him in his business.