How do you live life? How do you do things, basically–whatever it is that you do–half-heartedly, or do you give it everything you’ve got? Many feel stuck doing things they don’t really want to be doing or have jobs they don’t feel are worthy of them, and as a result they end up going through life exerting the least amount of effort that will actually get them through. Yet, that’s not the way the Holy Bible (in other words, our living God) tells us to live.
“Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving not merely other people, but the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah.” (Colossians 3:23-24 CJB)
We don’t typically think of our “regular work”–be it going to school or any of the many jobs adults do in the grown-up world–as “slaving for the Lord,” but that is what today’s passage calls it. It isn’t just our “ministerial work”–our serving at church or teaching Sunday School or whatever else we do or do not do at church–that is for God: EVERYTHING we do is for Him, it all counts.
There are nothing that is insignificant. Granted, washing or drying dishes, for example, doesn’t feel particularly significant in the grand scheme of things–and it may not be–but my attitude, my heart toward God as I do it, is. I can be doing it faithfully, as if I am about to serve Jesus Himself, or I can barely even clean them right. And maybe my family will complain, or perhaps they will silently accept whatever I present before them, but Jesus–and my heart–knows the quality of my work. And while we like to compartmentalize our lives into the “for Jesus” and the “not for Jesus” parts, He doesn’t draw such distinctions. EVERYTHING IS FOR JESUS. Why do you suppose that is?
It is very possibly because our entire lives are a witness of Him to others–ESPECIALLY the portions we don’t think are. I don’t like to think that at the very moment when I haven’t slept enough and my child does something that sets me off is what she may remember about how a follower of Jesus deals with frustration and stress. I may not like to think that how I humbly return good for evil to someone I feel wronged by instead of defending my rights and the fact that I do not deserve to be treated that way may be the very thing that later causes them to understand what dying to self and choosing to live for Christ is. It is when I am at my worst that the evidence of Jesus in me can come across most effectively:
“…’My grace is enough for you, for My power is brought to perfection in weakness.’ Therefore, I am very happy to boast about my weaknesses, in order that the Messiah’s power will rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 CJB)
If you do a word study on “grace” and “enough” (“sufficient” in the KJV) in this verse, you see that God is saying, “My acceptance, my unmerited favor, is enough, is sufficient, is what I should be content with.” God is enough. It is like the saying, “everything minus Jesus equals nothing; Jesus plus nothing equals everything.”
An interesting side-effect of doing everything as if it were for Jesus Himself is that we will be blessed. Granted, as a wife and mother I might not be “promoted” if my dishes are immaculate–perhaps my family will appreciate my efforts, perhaps they won’t. But in the workforce, a faithful employee will invariably catch his supervisor’s attention–in our world, excellence is typically rewarded with recognition and greater responsibility!
So, how do you live your life? How do you typically do things? Do you complete your assignments and tasks lackadaisically and half-heartedly, or do you put all of yourself into it, doing it as if Jesus Himself were the boss? He is, so do it with all your might! “Whatever work you do, put yourself into it, as those who are serving…the Lord. Remember that as your reward, you will receive the inheritance from the Lord. You are slaving for the Lord, for the Messiah.”
Whatever I do, help me put myself completely into it, to Your glory. Help me do it as well as I possibly can, knowing that regardless of what I do or who I work for, I am really serving You, and it is You who will recompense–pay–me. Amen.