“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”Colossians 3:23-24
I once saw a documentary on the building of the Hoover dam. The dam was built during the Great Depression, and I found it interesting that men moved their families out to the dam site up to a year before the construction of the dam. The documentary pointed out that the men were so hungry for work, they were willing to make a radical transition just for the prospects of working. Once they began to work, many expressed great gratitude to the contractors for hiring them. The result was a “modern marvel” that continues to irrigate two million acres in the Southwest and provides electricity for millions of homes.
In Colossians 3:23-24, we see what some have said is the formula for the “ideal Christian working man.” Specifically, the way to work, the object of work, and the reward for work are addressed.
- The way to work: We are to work “heartily,” which the Greek word here is often used to mean “life.” Dead men don’t work, nor do they eat. Our work is to be filled with life. A lively, hungry worker will do the job well.
- The object of work: We often see our boss as the one we work for, but it is clear from this passage our real boss is the Lord. Our work is to be worship to the Lord, a continual worship service to Him. Every email sent, nail hammered, investment deal made, mile driven, meeting attended…all for the glory of one boss—the Lord Jesus Christ.
- The reward for work: Paul was writing to “bondservants” or “slaves,” which were the working class of the Roman Empire. They did not have an inheritance, but those who were Christians had an inheritance in Jesus Christ. We may be paid little or much here on earth, but all our pay eventually turns to dust. Our real reward is the inheritance of heaven. The workday gets brighter when we view heaven as our reward.
I believe we can apply these concepts today. First, write down ways you can put life into you work. Then, write down the names of people at your work to whom you can be a witness. Finally, in your prayer time, ask God to help you work heartily for Him and thank Him for your heavenly inheritance.