Summary: when we do all our work as unto the Lord, weï¿½re working for our real boss - a message on our work and our faith
This is an expression that only Paul uses in the NT, in only two places,here and in Ephesians 6: 5-7, where he writes:
Slaves, obey your masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
This is almost a parallel passage to the verses weï¿½re looking at in Colossians, reiterating many of the same ideas.
So, we are to do our jobs well whether or not weï¿½re being monitored, we donï¿½t do them just to gain our bosses favor, and we do it with sincerity of heart, or as the KJV says ï¿½singleness of heartï¿½ ï¿½ which indicates a singleness of purpose.
When weï¿½re working, even in our secular jobs, or in our classroom, or in our home, weï¿½re to do all these things with this kind of attitude of heart.
Why? Again, because ultimately weï¿½re not serving our earthly boss. Ultimately, weï¿½re not even doing it primarily for the paycheck. Weï¿½re serving the Lord. Weï¿½re doing what we do as if weï¿½re doing it for the Lord Himself.
Can you see how such an attitude could revolutionize the workplace?
Bad attitudes in the workplace are legendary. Itï¿½s very common to join a conversation in a workplace and hear people complaining about almost every aspect of their jobs. Everybody looks forward to the weekends, or days off, because we donï¿½t have to work on those days. Now, admittedly, thereï¿½s a cycle of work and rest that we ignore at our own peril, but for many people, they work only because they have to. I owe I owe, so off to work I go.
Can you imagine how, if we really took seriously the ideas in these passages of scripture, how it would revolutionize our attitudes toward work, and how if it spread, it could truly impact the places we work?
Well, you say, Bill, you just donï¿½t understand. You donï¿½t work where I work. You donï¿½t know how difficult my boss can be. Heï¿½s a total pagan, and he curses and degrades people. You donï¿½t have to put up with the kinds of people I work with.
And of course thatï¿½s true. I donï¿½t walk in your shoes. But I have worked in difficult places. I think most of you know I worked for more than 20 years in the secular work world. I have worked for difficult people and with difficult people. And I admit I didnï¿½t always have the best attitude about my work then. So in some ways I do understand, and I can relate and commiserate. But letï¿½s not dwell on whether or not I understand. Thatï¿½s not really important here. Letï¿½s look at what the scripture says.
Letï¿½s remember Daniel in the Old Testament. He worked for a pagan too. Daniel wasnï¿½t treated fairly, either, and one of his bosses, who happened to be the CEO, or the king, unjustly threw him into a lionï¿½s den, despite his faithful service to his boss. But Daniel not only faithfully served his boss, his boss almost innately seemed to know that Danielï¿½s real boss was not the king, but the King of Kings.