“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:24-25, NIV).
In these verses from Colossians the Apostle Paul counsels people who are slaves and Christians.
Slavery in the ancient Roman Empire was a common practice and there was a vast population of Roman slaves. Slaves were most often prisoners of war but could also be the families of desperate Roman citizens facing hard times. Slaves were so commonplace in Roman society that in addition to being household servants and laborers, they could hold professional positions such as teachers or public servants.
Because of the preponderance of slavery in ancient Roman society, it’s only reasonable that when Paul addresses the subject of relationships in Christian families that he would also include the relationship between slaves and their masters.
If you were a slave, you were likely a slave for life. You were the personal property of another person and your life had no little or no importance or meaning other than serving the whims of your master.
But, Paul says that following Jesus brings a new dynamic not only to the husband and wife relationship, but also to the master and slave relationship. If you are a slave and a follower of Jesus, then you no longer only work for a human master, you actually work for Jesus!
And, if you are now working for Jesus, then the work you do should be done heartily! You should work hard and you should do a good job.
Because “it is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
When you are serving Jesus, it brings a new dynamic to even the most mundane aspects of life. It brings meaning to your labors. It adds eternal value to whatever you do!
And, if the work we do is now meaningful because we are doing it for the Lord, then how we do it is important, also.
Consequently, we do our work with all our heart–heartily–because our ultimate payday comes from the Lord, not the paycheck we receive from human masters.
So, start each day with this affirmation: “I will work hard and do my best today because IT IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST I AM SERVING!”
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17, NIV)