This past weekend Pastor Jeff Manion took us back into the lives of slaves and masters in ancient Colossae. As he did, he told us it’s important to note that our modern notion of slavery is not exactly parallel to their experience.
In many ways, slavery meant security and meaningful labor in the face of difficult circumstances. Someone became a slave by two primary paths: their nation was conquered or they owed someone and indentured themselves to pay off the debt. In this relationship, Paul gives slaves a challenging command, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3.23).
Like workers in ancient Rome, whether we’re getting paid for our work or not, we have one master we’re working for—God. It can be easy to blame our apathetic attitudes or poor production on “bad bosses” or feeling like our work doesn’t matter. But it matters to God. And ultimately we work for God first.
So, your work—no matter how important or menial the tasks may seem—is important primarily because God is the one for whom we’re working. Our Everyday Jesus takes incredible pleasure in a job well-done and a job done unto him.
To help us change our mindset about our work, begin by offering this prayer to God after every task: “God, I did this for you.” No matter how menial or grand, offer your work to God. If it’s laundry you folded or a corporate payroll you just balanced, pray this prayer and be reminded all we do is for God.