“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” —Colossians 3:23-24
How do we view our work? Is it merely a necessity? Do we wish we did not have to work? If we understand how God perceives work, then a huge portion of our lives, which otherwise would be in danger of simply being a necessity, can be transformed into work that is dynamic, exciting and with divine objectives.
From the beginning, God intended that we work. The Bible tells us, “The LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). Work has its origin in God and is not only a means of putting food on the table and a roof over our heads, but is a means of serving Him. If the work we do is for any lesser reason than serving God, it will fall short. Paul tells us to “work with reverence for the Lord. It is the Lord Christ you are serving,” and this applies to every strata of work.
Many people do not like what they do and find it a drudgery to go to work. Others are frustrated and discouraged for varying reasons; others are victimized by prejudices that hold them back, and still others are unable to attain the career they want. The key to turning any grievance around is not to be oriented around the circumstances of our work, but to be oriented around Jesus Christ in our workplace.
If we take the stand that we are not there primarily to serve our boss or ourselves, but that we have a much bigger agenda in serving the Lord, God dignifies our work and our reward becomes twofold. Paul writes, “…as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord.” Our reward from God is that where He has placed us we can be sure He has a divine purpose for us. When we work to serve God, He gives us the wisdom to know what it is He wants us to do and we keep alert to those opportunities.
We have two agendas with an earthly boss and a sovereign Master. Our earthly superiors have their legitimate agendas, which we must 100 percent work for, but alongside that, there is a divine agenda. In service to both, we must perform with integrity and faithfulness. We will then see our jobs from God’s perspective and our work will become a mission and our workplace a mission field where God is revealed. And where God is revealed, the daily grind of our jobs are dynamically changed with immense possibilities that keep us motivated, productive and fruitful for God.