Work for the Lord
By: Meg Bucher

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” – Colossians 3:23 NIV

The drawer precariously teetered as I put my daughter’s laundry away. Let’s just say I was not thinking positive thoughts about her as I pulled crumpled piles of shirts out to re-fold. Out of the corner of my eye, a colorful card she had attached to her mirror caught my eye. It read:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart …”

It reminds her to connect the motivations of her heart to the goals she sets in life, and I was reminded to go easy on her for the crumpled-up piles of shirts.

The motivation behind our motions matters. In all things, we are called to work hard for the glory of God. When we are timid about our talents and doubtful of our dreams, God calls us we to have confidence in his purposes. If he sets out to accomplish something in our lives through the gifts, dreams and talents he has planted in us, there is nothing that will stop him. Thoughts like, I can’t do this, and this is impossible can steal the full life God intends to bless us with.

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Sometimes I fear I miss the point of the full life Jesus died to give me, and instead allow the enemy to kill, steal, and destroy the good things God is working in my life. (John 10:10) I find myself complaining about how hard motherhood is, instead of embracing the gift I prayed so long for… to be a mom! My full calendar can cause a flood of anxiety, but I pray daily for community!

God is calling us to a higher mentality and work ethic by using the analogy of slavery in Colossians 3:23. When Paul wrote this letter, slavery was not the oppressive form we rightly fight to end, but a state of servanthood. It did not discriminate ethnically, nor was the servant to be degraded by their master. In fact, slaves were often freed after ten years. People could choose to work off a debt to a creditor via servitude.

Paul’s prose challenged both slave and master to see past themselves and work for the Lord, in fairness and justice. God is judge. He knows our motives. When we work for the Lord with all we have, the dreams we chase after and talents we hone lead us to “more than we can ask for or imagine.” Our goals and dreams do more than accomplish Kingdom purposes, they sanctify our souls! We are not only blessed by the favor of God on this earth, but rewarded in heaven! 

Our actions on this earth do not affect our eternal status as believers in Christ. We cannot, in any way, earn our salvation by anything we do on this earth. But God notices our obedience and hard work… and he faithfully blesses and rewards us, here and in heaven.

In the grit of every journey, God encourages us. Jesus, in the Parable of the Talents, told of the servant who wisely invested his Talents: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV) It’s a joy to work for the Kingdom of God.