“Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”
Yesterday we read the admonition from Colossians that we should do our daily work with a “fully engaged soul.” Now in this passage from Ephesians, the apostle Paul emphasizes that we should do our daily tasks with heart and soul.
Verse 5 tells us to respect our bosses and do our job with a “sincere heart.” This is the Greek kardia. The Lord calls us to put our heart into our work.
Verse 6 tells us that with regard to whatever organization we work for, we are to render service “as to the Lord and not to man,” and thereby “do the will of God from the heart.” However, the Greek word in this verse isn’t heart. Like the Colossians passage yesterday, it is psyche, which means soul.
The message is clear, isn’t it? Whatever work you do, do it with heart and soul, knowing that whether you are a boss or an employee, you serve Christ first, and your work ethic and response to your boss or employees or co-workers is a reflection of your walk with Christ. You are called to work for the Audience of One.
Os Guinness: “A life lived listening to the decisive call of God,” he writes, “is a life lived before one audience that trumps all others—the Audience of One.” To live and work in response to the call of God is to live before his eyes and his heart, and it transforms what we do and why we do it. Dr. Guinness puts it this way: “We who live before the Audience of One can say to the world: ‘I have only one audience. Before you I have nothing to prove, nothing to gain, nothing to lose.’”
Therefore we are to work diligently in all things, including menial tasks. As a result of the Fall, there are many aspects of work that are drudgery and there is no avoiding it. Floors have to be cleaned, diapers changed, drains cleared, and trash collected. But it is important to understand that this is part of our mission. “Drudgery done for ourselves or for other human audiences will always be drudgery,” writes Os Guinness. “But drudgery done for God is lifted and changed.”
The farmer who prays to Jesus at sunrise should also be working for Jesus in the fields during the day. To pray but not do good work and then expect a harvest is contrary to God’s design. To labor for the harvest but neglect worship and prayer is also contrary to God’s will. God is glorified when both the prayer and the labor are directed by trust in him and faithfulness to his truth.
As you go about your workday, is this your mindset? Are you mindful that you serve the Lord with the way you work?
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3.23-24)
The Lord is calling.