Today I was reminded of a pretty basic, simple truth about the work we complete each day. Written in the context of guidelines and expectations of family members and even slaves, Paul explains in Colossians 3:23-24 why we work so hard and who we work for. The immediate context leads me to focus on working and situations where they may not be the most ideal. However, this principle can be applied to multiple areas of our lives. We all have jobs, passions, and goals. It is important that we remember the pursuit of each of these things is not for our glory, our own personal gain, or even the gain of those around us. We work with excellence because God has created us for that work and God is glorified in our work when we make it about Him.
With USAW Nationals fast approaching, this is an important principle for me to remember. I’m working extremely hard with that goal in mind and have that date circled on my calendar with the expectation of success. However, there are two principles found in Colossians 3 that I have to remember when I am completing my training. First, God calls me to work hard. There is no room or allowance for laziness in the Bible. In fact there are direct imperatives against such laziness. God calls us to work heartily. Working heartily means to give your life and heart to something. To be devoted to your work not just for the renown of those around you or for personal gain but to be devoted to work as you are devoted to Lord. To work hard even when we don’t feel like working or when your work is less passion and more pain.
The reason we can work with this type of devotion is because we have to remember we are not working for our own gain. Our own personal desires can shift and change and as a result our work can do the same. When we work heartily as for the Lord our devotion and our perseverance stands to be much greater.
Working for ourselves is a weak, fleeting motivation. Working for the Lord, especially in light of what he did for us by Christ, is an eternal and lasting motivation. This is a good reminder for me as I prepare for Nationals and also a good reminder to those of you working hard both in the gym and in your workplace.