Colossians 3:23-24 says, “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” (ESV). What an all-encompassing passage! It is rich with applications for each of us as parents, teachers, students, and administrators.
“Whatever you do…” Every task or assignment that is ever set before us is to be approached in a particular way. It doesn’t matter how exciting or mundane the task is; if it’s a task we are to complete, there is a particular way in which we are to complete it.
“...work heartily…” Some synonyms for “heartily” are cordially, sincerely, genuinely, exuberantly, without restraint, thoroughly, completely (Dictionary.com). To work heartily implies more than mere completion; it implies a positive mindset that puts forth intentional effort.
“...as for the Lord and not for men…” When we approach the tasks assigned to us, we are instructed to think of the assignment as coming directly from Jesus...not really from the people he uses in our lives. In other words, when I grumble about a task given to me, I’m really complaining to Jesus. When I do a sloppy job on something, I’m really giving Him less than my best.
...knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” God wants us to think bigger than what our eyes can see. Our hope is not in this world. Our hope is in the promises of the Lord; we know that He will be faithful, and we know that His ways are always best for us. We just have to remember (and remind each other) to keep our eyes on His faithfulness.
“You are serving the Lord Christ.” When we serve—when we complete assignments and tasks given to us by parents, teachers, bosses, or anyone else—we are really serving Jesus.
I want to serve like that. I want to consider every single task put before me as an opportunity to bring God glory and pleasure. I want to focus my thoughts and reactions on our amazing God—not on the frustrations and challenges that can sometimes get us off track. When we remind our children and students to live out this passage, I want them to see through my life and through your life what that looks like. May God enable us each to live to His amazing glory!