In our daily scripture writing plan for January, we recently finished copying the text of Colossians 3. The entire chapter centers around mindset and how our life, our work, and our relationships can be impacted positively by a mind set on Christ. Setting our minds on the Lord is much easier to say than it is to apply.
When it comes to work, there are two verses in particular that jump out of this text:
“whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3.17, ESV)
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3.23-24, ESV)
Whatever I do?
Does that simply refer to prayer, study, worship, hospitality, teaching, etc?
Does that mean the minute I clock in on Monday, I’m serving God?
Does that include…
…helping my spouse?
…taking care of my kids?
…assisting my neighbor?
“Whatever” is an all-inclusive word.
Unfortunately, we often say we’ll do “everything” for the Lord, but we compartmentalize our work into “what we do for the Lord” and “what we do for the world.” The Spirit through the words of Paul tells us that there are no compartments; it’s all supposed to serve the Lord! That changes everything!
When Jesus was preaching, he said that the greatest commandment in the law of Moses was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Mark 12.28-34). The Scribes and Pharisees knew this to be true. And yet, even though they meticulously followed all the shall’s and shall not’s which they deemed important, they did not do it for the Lord—they did it for themselves, longing for worldly praise and position.
We can do “all the things” and “check all the boxes,” but if we are not doing it out of love for God, it’s on par with the work of the Scribes and Pharisees, whom Jesus called “hypocrites,” and “blind guides.”
Just imagine how much differently we will approach jobs we consider drudgeries if we do them “as for the Lord!”
Instead of sighing through another mindless round of dishwashing, we will do it joyfully, thanking God for providing food to fill our bodies.
When we work for a boss who is dishonest, unpleasant, or unfair, we will continue to give that job our very best because we are serving the Lord. As we work, we can deal with the injustices by repeatedly giving thanks for a job that provides enough income to put a roof over our head and food on our table.
As we try to raise difficult children, we won’t throw our hands up in despair, but will continue praying diligently over them, working daily to show them Christ in us.
If I am working for the Lord, I will approach every day—including my Mondays—with a smile, knowing He has given me another opportunity to glorify Him.
God has always wanted the allegiance of our hearts.
If we truly long to love God wholeheartedly, we ought to begin with our attitude towards work.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3.1-2, ESV