Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.
This passage is found at the end of Colossians embedded in a list of instructions for holy living. This particular instruction is written for slaves, yet the directive can be transferred to our modern context. Though we are not enslaved to an earthly master, we are children of God, bought at a price. This purchase and the salvation of our souls necessitates enslavement to the daily pursuit of Christ and of holiness.
Very often, because of our earthly freedom, we assess our work ethic based on our context or our emotions. I don’t have to give 100% to a certain project because I have volunteered to do it and am, therefore, under no obligation to perform. I don’t have to work heartily at my job because this isn’t actually my career; it’s just an “in-the-mean-time” job. I don’t have to pursue perfection because no one else is.
All of these excuses revolve around an infatuation with self. My performance and my labor become products of what my emotions feel on a particular day, instead of a reflection of my Creator. Every task that has been set before us has been given to us, whether directly or indirectly, from our Savior. Our time on this earth is set before us to pursue holiness and to reflect the character of our Creator. This is why Paul instructed the Colossians to “work heartily, as for the Lord…” This is the working out of our salvation.
Lastly, we are reminded that we will receive the consequences for our actions. Not only that, but we will receive them without partiality. The socially vogue approach to wrongdoing is tolerance. Someone kills because his mother rejected him. Someone else does drugs because she grew up in the projects. The blame is shifted away from the offender and onto the environment.
We are told differently, here in Colossians. First, we are told to work heartily, as unto the Lord. Then we are told that we will be judged without partiality. The lesson here is that, regardless of circumstances or apparent excuses, God requires the same level of work ethic from all of His children and He judges each without regard for the excuses with which we try to shield ourselves.
Commit this day to the Lord. He has commanded you to work heartily, as if each task has been directly spoken from Him. Your example will reflect the face of your Creator and your obedience will spare you from the discipline of your God.