A few years back my family took to heart Colossians 3:23-24 which states, “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” (ESV). Occasionally, as I send my kids off to school, or we work around the house, I’ll remind them of this verse with hopes of instilling that Christ affects all of our life’s work. Everything we do matters to God!
Responding to Jesus
Paul, in his typical style, begins with the foundation of our transformed lives, which is the work of Jesus. The opening chapters of Colossians provide for us the foundation of our faith in Jesus, His preeminence, and His work of bringing us into new life. And because of this, we respond to Jesus by trusting in His finished work. Through this, our life’s trajectory is transformed, changed, and is practiced by our hearts oriented to Christ and this affecting all of our life. There is not a sacred and secular divide, there is not a Christian part of our life and a secular part of our life. All of life is transformed in Christ and for Christ. This is the aim of the remainder of Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
Transformed for Jesus
Bill Heatley presents two ideas stemming from Colossians 3:23-24:
“We recognize that we represent Jesus in the workplace (and every sphere of life). If we are Christ-followers, how we treat others and how diligently and faithfully we do our work reflects on our Lord. How well do our actions fit with who he is?” 1
Look at your life in light of Christ, analyze how well your actions fit who He is. What adjustments need to be made? Do you compartmentalize parts of your life as “off limits” to the Lord? This is not an exercise to heap guilt on you, but to truly see that Christ is in all of life. He cares about everything that you do!
“Working in ‘Jesus’ name’ also implies that we live recognizing that he is our master, our boss, the one to whom we are ultimately accountable. This leads into Paul’s reminder that we work for the Lord and not for human masters. Yes, we most likely have horizontal accountability on the job, but the diligence we bring to our work comes from our recognition that, in the end, God is our judge.” 2
What an incredible statement! And so, as you go about the everyday tasks of life, remember to work for the Lord! There is no “clocking out” from our vocation, that is our calling, to do all things as unto the Lord and not for men. From the classroom to the boardroom, from the lawnmower, to the machine shop, from the dusty wood shop to the kitchen, from the living room to the evening commute, remember, “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).
1 Bill Heatley, Theology of Work Bible Commentary, Volume 5: Romans Through Revelation (Peabody: Hendrickson, 2015) 130.