Do Your Job
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men . . . Colossians 3:23
While in college, I worked weekends at a racquetball court where I was supposed to arrive at 6:00AM to dust mop all the courts before opening at 7:00AM. As a teenager, getting up that early was rough and I quickly learned that I could sleep in if I didn’t clean the courts very well. They were just done yesterday. No one will know. I learned that I could not do my job, collect a paycheck, and get away with it.
This was an unfortunate lesson that I carried forward. Later, in my addiction, when I first used my license to get my pills, I was terrified of discovery but no one seemed to notice. So, I continued doing whatever I wanted as long as I could get away with it. Then when my addiction came to light and I had to leave my job, I felt cheated. I did my job pretty well and I thought that should count for something. Perhaps I provided reasonable medical care, but honestly, an important part of my job was not abusing drugs. In that, I failed spectacularly.
In today’s passage, Paul spoke to bondservants, a term we may not be familiar with but nonetheless, Paul addressed those who work for someone else – a boss. This is a concept with which we are familiar. In the passage, Paul said that, in our employment, we must do our job. We’re not to simply collect a paycheck and get away with doing as little as possible. That is living for ourselves. Paul explained that we must do our job well because we’re actually doing it for God.
Though I felt cheated at the time, I now look back with shame at losing my job. I was supposed to do it well for God, but I did it poorly because I did it only for me. Because I called myself a Christian, my poor performance didn’t reflect negatively only on me, but also on God. I’m sure there were those who used my obvious failure as evidence of Christian hypocrisy. And they were right. I was a Christian who didn’t do his job well.
Now, the daily challenge is to go to work and realize that as a follower of Christ I’m not doing it just for me. Doing my job well is an act of service to God. Do I whine, complain, and do as little as possible? Or do I do my job and do it well? How I act at work may be the most obvious thing some people know about the God in which I claim to believe.