Ephesians 6:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 6:6, NIV: Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.

Ephesians 6:6, ESV: not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

Ephesians 6:6, KJV: Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Ephesians 6:6, NASB: not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.

Ephesians 6:6, NLT: Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart.

Ephesians 6:6, CSB: Don't work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God's will from your heart.

What does Ephesians 6:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul addresses the problem of doing things only for the sake of gaining other's approval. He calls it literally "the way of eye-service," or the problem of only working hard when the master's eyes are directly on us. Paul also notes this type of behavior as being a "people-pleaser." Some serve, but do so for wrong motives. This might be to feel good about themselves, or to impress someone else, as in this context. This might also include those who seek to do as little as possible, while "putting on a show" to make an overseer think they are doing more than they really are. Paul condemns all of these practices, calling bondservants instead "bondservants of Christ."

A bondservant of Christ, or servant of the Lord (such as Elijah or John the Baptist), would not serve only when seen by others but at all times and for the glory of God. As Paul words it, God's servants are to serve "doing the will of God from the heart." It is not the service that is wrong, but the attitude that is wrong, when a servant does work only for others to notice, but not for God's glory.