I was reading a bit in Colossians today when an old verse struck me in a new way.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men... -- Colossians 3:23
There are plenty of things that we do every day that we just don't feel like doing. Taking out the garbage, doing the dishes, changing diapers, geometry homework, exercising, and filing reports at work are some tasks you may not particularly enjoy. For me, the prime example is waking up. Whatever the tasks may be, we all face them on a daily basis.
So what happens when its time for you to man up and do them? Do you procrastinate as long as you can? Do you pass it off for someone else to do it? Do you do it quickly and poorly just to get it done? Do you do it while complaining the whole time or with a bad attitude in your heart?
The Bible tells us to do everything with all of our hearts. Even taking out the garbage? Yep! Even the tasks that we loathe doing fall under the scope of this command. If we are doing it, we need to give it 100%. That's because our entire lives are acts of worship to God. If He has sovereignly assigned a task to us, then we are to do it well to His glory.
But that's actually not the new insight I got from this verse. I've known that one for a while, though I totally admit I fail at it often (especially when it comes to cleaning the house). This wasn't news to me. What struck me was that Paul makes an assumption in this verse of how we should have already been behaving. Did you notice it?
As working for the Lord
Paul tells us that whatever we do, we should do it with all of our hearts. That's a pretty big command! Its hard to do something with your whole heart. What's that even look like? Can you give us an example of what wholehearted effort looks like Paul? What does Paul compare it to? Work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.
You know the level of energy you put in when you serve Jesus? That's the kind of energy you should put into everything you do. Remember how amped you were to serve at church last Sunday? That's how amped you should get about taking out the trash to serve your family and honor God throughout the week. How's about that passion you had when sharing the gospel with your friend the other day? That's the kind of passion you should put into all of your work.
That's what Paul is saying. And that is a convicting assumption. Paul is just flat out assuming that we as Christians are giving it 100% when we serve Christ. Paul's just taking it for granted that when we go to church on Sunday we are serving with all of our hearts. He doesn't even tell us to serve Christ with all of our hearts, because he can't even understand why we wouldn't be. Instead, he tells us to do all of life's tasks with the same passion that he assumes we are serving Christ with.
To Paul, a Christian simply is crazy about serving Jesus. Christians give their all when serving their Savior. That's the new insight I got today. And its convicting. It forced me to ask myself a tough question.
Is Paul's assumption right about me? Am I giving my all when it comes to serving Christ? Sometimes I groan when its time to write a check and stick it in the offering. Sometimes I procrastinate when I need to prepare a lesson for a Bible Study. Sometimes I have to be reminded and given several opportunities before I actually share the gospel with a friend. Sometimes I would rather sleep than spend 15 minutes reading the Bible and praying.
How about you? I was challenged today to really amp up my game for the Lord. There are plenty of things I do with my whole heart. From Super Smash Brothers playing and Stargate watching to debating controversial issues of little importance, I get passionate and fully engaged in a lot of things. So why not get fully engaged in things that matter so much more? Let's start giving 100% when it comes to the things that really matter in life. Let the words of Paul from the very next verse motivate you.
...since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. -- Colossians 3:24
- What things do I do wholeheartedly? Why?
- From church ministries to ministering to my family and friends, what are the main ways God has called me to serve Him?
- Do I give 100% of my heart to those tasks? Why or why not?
- How can I remind myself of Colossians 3:23-24 when I'm not giving my all?
- What regular, everyday tasks do I dread doing?
- How can I remind myself that I should be doing this with 100% for the glory of God?