“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”
According to Paul in Colossians, the Christian ought to engage themselves in any work as if they were working for God himself. Some of us have serious problems with the implications of this command given we are in work places or under managers that are….. less than ideal. If you consider the context of this verse, you’ll notice Paul is actually speaking to servants, aka slaves, and how they ought to think of their service to their human master. This means that Paul’s command is not void by poor leadership, poor circumstances, poor social structure, or poor anything.
My aim today is to lay out a few questions that I regularly ask myself to gauge my heart and work ethic. Working heartily as if it were for the Lord is something I have struggled with for years. This stemmed from feeling strongly that I am not where I want to be (full-time ministry). A profound realization I had about a year ago was that if in my current job I can’t stop cutting corners and start finding joy, there is no reason to expect my behavior to be any different when I enter the ministry. My hope is that you find these questions helpful to you.
- Who is my real boss?
- Am I being wasteful with time, energy, resources, or talent?
- What would be different if I was doing this in front of God?
- Can I go home proud of the effort I put in today?
- Do others follow my work and see excellence in effort or outcome?
- When I stand in front of God on the last day, how will God speak of my employment?
I’m often disappointed with my answers to these questions. And as my coworker just pointed out to me, there is great irony that I’m editing this post while at work. Clearly, this is a long process.