The Apostle Paul exhorts the church of Colossae to do their work “as unto the Lord.” That idea is difficult when your boss asks you to perform yet another uninspiring duty; sweep the floor, or file some paperwork, or clear a table, or some similar act of tedium.
Your heart (and brain) hurts just thinking about it and you want to tell him off, but you’re a Christian, a follower of Christ, and that just doesn’t seem right.
So, what do you do?
Do you quit? And then give him the finger? It might make you feel good in the moment but then you enter unemployment and deep uncertainty about the future. Maybe you do what you’re told, but then you complain and grumble, hating your work all the more?
What if you could joyfully perform the work asked of you?
But how do you do that?
What the Bible says about working as unto the Lord
Colossians 3 tells us to do all our work as unto the Lord, but how do you actually go about doing that? That question has plagued me for years. Over time (and a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth) I constructed three strategies that seem to help:
- Work as an expression of love – When Jesus reminded us to love our neighbor as ourselves, work was part of that. In fact, at work is the one place where we most often forget this command. Think of everything you do at work as a way to express God’s love to others.
- Focus away from the crap – You have a choice. You can pay attention to the bits of your job that you hate, or you can remind yourself of the positives. But first you have to find the positives. Find what you love about your job, the opportunities to shine and be your best.
- Exceed everyone’s expectations – Find out what they expect from someone in your position and then do more. You’ll be happier, your boss and co-workers will be thrilled, and everything will go well with you. Find the details, those sometimes hidden parts of the task or job that most people take for granted, and then do more or even better.
When working as unto the Lord, choose to show them love
If you do nothing else, at the very least go and think about how you can put into practice working as an expression of love. If you work as a way to show love, then you’ll find yourself enjoying your work more because your boss is more impressed with you and you have a better attitude. It’s a great start to doing your work as unto the Lord. Maybe you won’t LOVE your job, but you will certainly feel better about work than you do now.
In what ways can you express love to other people through your work?