Colossians 3:23 (ESV) … “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
For whom do you work for? Unless you are retired, independently wealthy or own a business, you are like me and are thinking about some company, group or individual. Let’s face it, the majority of us work for someone to put food on the table. Now let me ask you, what kind of employee are you? Believe it or not, the Bible has a word for how we should behave as employees. Believe it or not, the Bible has a standard for Christians to hold in how we should work for our employers.
In this section of Colossians and in particular this verse found in chapter three, Paul tells Christian employees that they should be the best, the most trustworthy, the most loyal, faithful, and industrious people in the workforce. Paul tells us that two things that employers should expect from their Christian employees.
First Paul says that employers ought to be able to trust that Christians will give the best service. Paul says that our service is to be “not with eyeservice.” In other words, we shouldn’t just work hard when our boss is looking. We should always give our best regardless of who’s eye is on us. We need to remember that our Lord is watching our effort and He sees what kind of steward we are. Because Jesus is watching us, we should always be motivated to give our best.
Secondly, our employers ought to be able to depend upon us. Because we are extra motivated by our Lord, we should always do our jobs well. Therefore, when extra is needed, or more is expected, our employers should think of us first, knowing they can count on us doing a good job. Paul says that we should do our jobs “heartily as to the Lord.”
Now I know, you might say, but my boss is unfair. That my job is a thankless job. That others I work with will take advantage of any extra effort I give. All of that and more might be entirely true.
However, we must keep in mind, that the One for whom we indeed work is not some person or company but is the Lord himself. Jesus is a loving and kind taskmaster. When we give our best, we are providing a witness about Jesus. When we neither complain or gripe, we are giving Jesus a witness. Yes, there may be times where issues may need addressing. Yes, there are times when you might have to leave a place where you are not appreciated. However, wherever and whenever we work, we should give our best “as unto the Lord.”