Colossians 3:23 - How to Work with All Your Heart.
Colossians 3:23 - How to Work with All Your Heart.
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 of man, God has given us work to do. Adam
was to "tend and watch over" the Garden of Eden. 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
There is an important difference between doing something for
people and doing something for God. God always deserves our best
effort. People will disappoint us, betray us, neglect us, and mistreat
us. Some will constantly ask for what we can give while offering
nothing in return. From our human perspective, these people deserve our
minimal effort at best. What then should motivate us to serve people,
except our love for God? God deserves our love, and He demands that we
love others in the same way He does. We are to love our spouses, not
as they deserve, but as God commands (Eph 5:22-33). We are to treat
our friends, not as they treat us, but as Christ loves us (John
13:14). We are to labor at our jobs, not in proportion to the way our
employer treats us, but according to the way God treats us. God is the
One we serve (Eph 6:5).
Mediocrity and laziness have no place in the Christian's
life. Christians must maintain integrity at home and in the workplace.
Working for God, as opposed to working for other people, changes our
perspective as we view our endeavors in light of what He has done for us.
Our toil then becomes an offering to God. We not only worship God at
church on Sabbath, but our labor throughout the week is an offering of
worship and thanksgiving to the One who has given us everything we have.
When people do not measure up to our expectations and we feel our
efforts are being wasted, we must keep in mind that we are toiling for
holy God. He is worthy of our best effort. [Experiencing God Day by
Day by Henry and Richard Blackaby]
Brother Lawrence said he was happy to pick up a piece of
straw from the ground just for the love of God, not looking for
anything in return, but seeking the Lord alone.
Over the centuries, readers of Brother Lawrence's letters and
written conversations have been intrigued by the image of the awkward,
barefoot monk bending for that straw with a wonderful sense of God's
presence. What was going on? How did he find such joy and contentment in
his simple daily tasks?
Even more intriguing is his confession that although he
worked in the monastery kitchen for fifteen years, he had "a strong
natural aversion" to it! Somehow that didn't matter. He was "always
doing small things for the love of God." He had formed the habit of
conversing with God, constantly practicing God's presence no matter what
How might we emulate this humble brother? Pick up some
litter. Peel the carrots. Write a paragraph. Drive to the store. Say a
kind word to someone. All as acts of service for God.
Is it possible to consciously do that, moment by moment?
Brother Lawrence worked at it, and his attitude resulted in
God's giving him "endless gifts of grace."
We might dislike the tasks at hand, but doing everything we
do as service for God changes our perspective. Brother Lawrence's
secret was not changing what he did, but "doing for God what we
commonly do for ourselves."
Lord, you know my thoughts. Infuse my mind with what Brother
Lawrence practiced. When I'm distracted from you, transform my thoughts.
Father, if I wander, please bring me back and lift me into your arms.
[The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra]
Seek to please me above all else. Let that goal be your focal
point as you go through this day. Such a mind-set will protect you
from scattering your energy to the winds. The free will I bestowed on
you comes with awesome responsibility. Each day presents you with
choice after choice. Many of these decisions you ignore and thus make
by default. Without a focal point to guide you, you can easily lose
your way. That's why it is so important to stay in communication with
Me, living in thankful awareness of My Presence.
You inhabit a fallen, disjointed world, where things are
constantly unraveling around the edges. Only a vibrant relationship with Me
can keep you from coming unraveled too. (Matthew 6:33; John 8:29;
Colossians 3:23-24) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I stared in amusement at the photo of my twenty-year-old son
carrying groceries up the stairs in a ghetto-like apartment complex. His
face was beaming as if he were on a ride at Six Flags rather than
carrying out a chore for a missionary.
I thought of the times I had asked him to run to the store to
pick up something for me. I do not recall seeing that roller-coaster
grin on his face then. I usually got some lackluster response, such
as, "Why can't Laura do it?"
My husband, Mark, reminded me that John was on a mission for
God in the Dominican Republic, so every task, no matter how mundane,
became significant and meaningful. I figured that getting work out of
my family meant I needed to frame it in the context of their being
on a mission for God, and since I was painting my daughter's
bedroom, I suggested to Mark that God might be calling him to help me
paint. He laughed loudly, but then he picked up a roller and dipped it
into the paint.
How often has God asked me to serve him, and I have asked why
someone else couldn't do it or ended up doing the job reluctantly with a
less-than-cheerful attitude? Do I do my chores heartily as if I were working at
Regardless of whether we are on a mission trip in a faraway
land or we're here at home, the work we do to help others is work we
do for Christ. Ultimately he is the one we serve. Paula Hemingway
Dear God, help me to serve you with all my heart, regardless
of the task or where I am. Amen. [The One Year Devotional of Joy
and Laughter by Mary Hollingsworth]
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