Colossians 3: 23

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.

There is a lot of talk about how the world is falling apart and falling into sin. I sometimes wonder what any specific person has in mind. Well, here is mine. This is part of what I don’t like about the new world we live in, the low value placed on excellence.

Our world is descending into a, “Oh, that’s good enough” mentality. What happened to excellence? What happened to doing everything to the best of your ability. You hear people say of their employment, “They don’t pay me well enough to do that.” There is a “just get by” attitude. This attitude is not limited to employees though. Companies, large and small, evidence a lack luster approach.

As much as it seems an ever increasing problem, it is not a new one. Paul addressed it two thousand years ago. Christians shouldn’t do things half-way well. Paul said that in everything we do, especially our work, do it as if we work for Jesus because, of course, we do. Everything in our lives is of, by and for him. Therefore, anywhere we dispense a half-hearted effort, we minimize his greatness within us.

This is not to say you can’t have a day off. Not at all. The point is do what you do with excellence. Do not be a sluggard or turn in sloppy work in any aspect of life. Show up, show up on time, show up on time fully prepared. Imagine your shirt says, “I work for Jesus.” Also, encourage others to show excellence in everything they do and expect top performance and customer service from the companies you do business with. Expect excellence in church, at work, and in everything. Give your best and expect it from others. Give people a reason to say that Christians are people of excellence.

Poverty like a Thief

Proverb 6: 9 – 11

How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and your poverty will come in like a vagabond, and your need like an armed man.

God has promised to bless the work of your hands. In fact, in Deuteronomy 30: 9 He promised to “prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand.” The point is, though, that you must set your hand to the plow, as it were. In Colossians 3: 23 Paul teaches that in “whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” 

We were never meant to be idle beings. God created the sloth for that purpose. Even in the Garden of Eden humanity was expected to work and produce. The Garden of Eden was nothing more than a seed garden. Adam and Eve were supposed to take those seeds and create a planet of Eden but they failed miserably. Fortunately, despite our failures God always has an alternate blessing plan. If you read the twenty-eighth chapter of Deuteronomy you see that He filled the environment with blessing. About the only blessing you will not find is the couch potato blessing.

Have you heard the expression “work hard, play hard”? Is there a reason that work comes before play in that expression? We must first work and then we play with glee.

Your work is meant to be a source of blessing not just a source of income. As a matter of fact, you may be retired. That does not mean that your work has ended. God may have called you into something new. And work doesn’t have to be a bad word. It is meant to be part of our fulfillment. Meaningful work is a delight. Truth be known, when we dedicate it all to the Lord it is He who does the heavy lifting anyway and we get to walk around in the blessing.

No matter what you are called to do it with all your energy as if your boss is Jesus because in truth he is. Do your work with joy. Your joy comes through the Holy Spirit and the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8: 10). You see work doesn’t have to be drudgery. If the Lord has given you something to do, do it with all your might and with joy blessing the Lord that you have something to which to set your hand. There are thousands and millions of people who do not have the opportunities that we have. God is blessing us.

If we do not arise and do what He has called us to do, He will take away what He has given us and give it to someone else to do. Then we will understand that our work was a gift and a blessing. Just a little folding of the hands, just a little laziness and all of a sudden you have moved yourself out of the blessing and into the curse. We have to understand that God has always, since the beginning of time, been trying to bless people. You see it all through the Old Testament. Then Jesus came to bring us abundant life (John 10: 10). You can see the parallel of God’s will in Deuteronomy 30: 9. It has always been about abundant blessing. But there is a thief among us so God began warning us early that Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). If we fold our hands and slumber the devil will take free rein with our blessing. Guard diligently what the Lord has given you. He has put all things in your hands for joy and blessing. Don’t let the devil steal your blessing. Instead work diligently with a joyful heart giving the Lord thanks for the multitude of blessings He has given you. Make your work a praise offering to the Lord. Go to work with Him, take Him with you. When you take Jesus with you, then all things are a joy.