“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”-Colossians 3:23-24
There is often a divide in the minds of Christians about what their spiritual life is and what their secular life is. For the longest time I thought that my spiritual life included reading the Bible, praying, and going to church whereas my secular life included everything else–from what I did in my free time, to hanging out with my friends, watching TV, and even my work and how I acted at my workplace. The truth is that, if Christ is in us, He is in us always and His work in our hearts should radiate outwards in all aspects of our lives—not just when we read His Word, pray, or attend church. Since much of our week is spent at work, work becomes a beautifully significant avenue of demonstrating to others the life-changing work that Christ has produced within us. After all, you may be the only consistent, constant model of and messenger for Christ that your coworkers ever come into contact with; and the truth encapsulated in these verses has the power to forever transform and elevate the nature of the work you do—so long as you work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men.
When the transformative power of this verse finally hit home in my own life, the way I approached work was dramatically altered. Although I have earthly masters, real bosses with real faces and real personalities, I realized that I was to do my best performance at work not just for them, but for the Lord! What especially made this verse real for me—and which may have made me seem crazy—was imagining the Savior behind me, watching me, while I worked. It didn’t matter that, to the world, my work seemed menial, insignificant, and unimportant, because I knew that “whatever I did,” I was doing it unto the very Lord that made the ultimate sacrifice for me and who extremely values the work I do. I was no longer restocking plates, making watercress garnishes, and carrying plates and side dishes to guests but I was restocking plates, making watercress garnishes, and carrying plates and side dishes for the Lord Almighty. Whenever I would do something as small as wiping a counter with a wet rag, rather than thinking my efforts were useless and insignificant, I would imagine Jesus behind me inspecting my work, being well-pleased at how meticulously I wiped that counter, and saying, “very good job, Cameron!” I have been given the amazing privilege of working at a job that centers around serving others, the ultimate goal of all Christians, and what transformation has taken place in my mind while I perform my duties! What if, whenever I carried an entree out to a table, I imagined it was the Lord Almighty Himself whose dinner I held in my hands and who I would get the chance to serve. That is truly an amazing thought, and one that should be adopted by all Christian workers, in whatever work it is that they do, for all work should be done as unto the Lord.
In the restaurant industry, pay is different than a regular hourly or salary job. With my job specifically, as a “foodrunner” who carries entrees out to guests, my pay is dependent upon the volume of guests that come in that night. What has become comical to me, then, is that the same exact work I do every single night is sometimes worth 8$/hour, sometimes worth 10$/hour, and sometimes worth 15$/hour, dependent upon how busy the restaurant is. The thing to consider, however, is that regardless of whether I make 8$/hour, 10$/hour, or 15$/hour, I know that one day, as a Christian, I will receive the “reward of the inheritance” from the Lord; and it is exactly this attitude that we should have while working—“knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.” What if, instead of grumbling about how much money we make or don’t make, we embrace an indescribable thankfulness to God for the rich blessings he has bestowed upon us; one of those blessings including our very heavenly inheritance! Regardless of if you earn a lot of money or a little, or if you feel appreciated and valued at work or you don’t, you can have the utmost confidence in and joy from knowing that one day (if you have trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins) you will forever be in the presence of Jesus Christ—and that should be incentive enough to “work heartily” unto the Lord in “whatever you do.” From here on out, whenever you clock in at your job purpose in your heart to always work your hardest as if you were doing your work for Jesus Christ Himself, and be thankful not just for the monetary pay you receive, but for the far-greater reward you will too one day receive.
By Cameron Penrose
CCBS Student, Blogger