Colossians 3:23 - Working for Christ or Man?
Colossians 3:23 (NIV) Whatever you do, work at it with all your
heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
Since the creation, God has given us work to do. If we could
regard our work as an act of worship or service to God, such an
attitude would take some of the drudgery and boredom out of it. In fact,
working for Christ instead of a boss or a paycheck ought to bring a
definite enthusiasm to our efforts. [Life Application SB]
Since the creation of man, God has given us work to do. Adam was
to "tend and watch over" the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15, January
1). Only after sin entered the world did work become drudgery. Today
most of us work because we have to, not necessarily because we want
to. We are blessed indeed if we enjoy our jobs.
However, Paul doesn't tell us to do our jobs to the best of our
ability only if we like the job, enjoy our coworkers, or have a good
relationship with the boss. Paul says to "work willingly at whatever you do"
(3:23). This all comes back to true Christian behavior--how we should
represent Jesus to the world.
No matter what your job is, you should do it as though you are
working for the Lord rather than other people. When you see your work as
a service to God, you will be able to exemplify such Christian
values as a strong work ethic, honesty, integrity, respect, and even
love, and you will be content. Your day will be better, and you might
just brighten someone else's day, too! And best of all, God, your
ultimate Boss, will be pleased. [The One Year Bible for New Believers re
Long ago, a band of minstrels lived in a faraway land. They
traveled from town to town singing and playing their music in hopes of
making a living. They had not been doing well financially, however.
Times were hard and the common people had little money to spend on
concerts, even though their fee was small.
The group met one evening to discuss their plight. "I see no
reason for opening tonight," one said. "It's snowing and no one will
come out on a night like this." Another said, "I agree. Last night we
performed for just a handful. Even fewer will come tonight "
The leader of the troupe responded, "I know you are discouraged.
I am, too. But we have a responsibility to those who might come.
We will go on, and we will do the best job of which we are capable.
It is not the fault of those who come that others do not. They
should not be punished with less than our best."
Heartened by his words, the minstrels gave their best
performance ever. After the show, the old man called his troupe to him
again. In his hand was a note, handed to him by one of the audience
members just before the doors closed behind him. Slowly the man read,
"Thank you for a beautiful performance." It was signed simply, "Your
Remember that even if no one is around to see you perform, there
is always one onlooker: Your King. [God's Little Devotional Bible
From Genesis we find that work was designed by God as a
blessing. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it. It
was paradise. Sin entered the world; blessing was turned to curse.
The earth was cursed. Adam was told he would still till the earth,
but by the sweat of his brow (hard labor) and his return would
include thorns (trouble). Work became a curse, and the whole world today
testifies to this as fact. But our Scripture tells us that God has a gift:
enjoyment in our toil! Also, in the New Testament we are told that our
work is to be done "unto the Lord." When we ask God for the gift of
joy in our work, and do the work for Him, we gain immeasurable
benefit. Even more important: the worst witness a Christian can have is
to be unhappy in his/her work. Ask God for joy in your work, and do
it for Him! Others will ask you for a reason of the hope and joy
your work attitude reflects! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re
How different our thoughts and actions would be if we really
believed this clear statement of God's truth! How far from God's ways is
most of His creation! We act as if the earth is ours and that we
do God a favor by giving him back a portion of it. We act as if
our time is our own; that we can set aside a portion of the week for
Him. How much better it would be for our ourselves and our families
if we would consider EVERYTHING as belonging to God. We could work
at any job, doing even the most menial task as unto the Lord - and
find joy in doing it! We could go through trials believing that they
were God-allowed, for His sovereign purposes in our lives, for our
good, and find peace in the midst of them! We could be content with
what we have, knowing that we belong to the Great God of Creation.
[In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
Dear Child, You look for great ways to bring me glory. You feel
frustrated and somehow stuck in the ordinary things of life. Know this: I
delight in the ordinary. I delight in a life lived simply and obediently
before me. When you choose to embrace the small struggles and simple
pleasures of this one day, you honor me. You cannot offer higher praise to
me than the praise of a calm and joyous life. Do each small task as
an offering to me, for I see and appreciate your work. Enter into
each conversation with a determination to let my words come out
through you, for I hear and delight in such conversation. In this way,
the most common life becomes extraordinary. The simplest day becomes
holy. I am with you in this ordinary day. Lovingly, God [Postcards
from Heaven by Claire Cloninger]
Colossians 3:17 (AMP) And whatever you do [no matter what it is]
in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in
[dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him.
Ephesians 6:6-7 (NIV) Obey them not only to win their favor when
their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God
from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the
Lord, not men,
Often we hear the phrase, "That's unfair!" Fairness is
discussed in classrooms, labor halls, the workplace, everywhere. A father
responding to his child's complaint that God sometimes was unfair, told
him, "Son, if God was fair, we'd be cinders right now." Consider
that! We do want justice in all our dealings. We need to be
righteous in all we do. But thank God for His mercy. Because of His love
and mercy we can be victorious, even when we are treated unfairly
in the world. Scripture instructs us to do our work as unto the
Lord, not men. With this in mind, remember the next time the person
in authority over you treats you unfairly. As long as it doesn't
require you to be immoral or do something illegal, obey. And then wait
upon the Lord, who will care for you in your obedience, because it is
Him for whom you labor, whom you obey, and it is from Him you will
receive your reward. Watch the impact on the one being "unfair,"
because God will do business with that person. [In His Time; Walk With
Wisdom re 1Pe.2:18]
The question of slaves and masters may appear to be out-of-date
and inapplicable to modern society, but on second glance there are
important principles in this passage. Even though slavery might not be
officially condoned or practiced today, the admonition to work hard as
though one was working for God, and not people, applies to employees.