Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!

Honest Reward

Colossians 3:23-25
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favouritism. (NIVUK)

Wholehearted commitment is essential for entrepreneurs.  If they do not put everything into it, they cannot expect to get anything out of it.  But they are working for themselves; their reward is proportional to their effort and skill.  Employees may think differently if their pay is guaranteed.  They might work when they are watched and do the minimum to avoid punishment.  Those working for relatives might have an even more casual approach.  Paul tells the working people in the church that those attitudes are wrong.  Our ultimate Master is not the employer, but Jesus Christ; and therefore our earthly work is our spiritual calling – it is the will of God (Ephesians 6:5-8).  
So … work wholeheartedly.  The little phrase, “… whatever you do …” is full of meaning.  ‘Whatever’ includes everything and excludes nothing.   No slacking, no complaining, no argument about rates of pay or benefits.  Jesus has put everything into His job of salvation and expects you to give your all.  Your pay is not your only reward; you have an eternal inheritance which can never be devalued (1 Peter 1:3-4).  

These verses speak about the workers’ hearts more than their skills.  The final result may be satisfactory, but the attitude of mind and heart may be sour, bitter, or hard.  God looks to see the same heart in His children that is in His Son – where energy and output, care and wisdom are focussed on each task because it is God-appointed … and will therefore be God-enabled and God-rewarded (Philippians 2:5-11).  Although earthly work may be hard, and the boss unfair, Jesus will make sure that you have a reward from Him which fits your labour (Matthew 16:27).  And He is fair.  People who do wrong are punished, even if they are in His family.  So Christian employers must show no favouritism, and right-minded employees will honour that principle (James 2:1).

The church and workplace are much closer together than many realise.  We do not change identity on Monday morning.  So, we should honour the Lord as much at work as we do in worship.  He is the same Lord and we are the same people, so why do some believers treat their workplace as being outside of God's interest and authority?  He knows more about the business than your boss; has greater influence than your customers or suppliers; and knows the end of every research project before it is started.  He is fair to all and hates people 'pulling strings' to get an advantage.  Honest hard work will be rewarded.  Even if the pay rate is low here, Jesus will make sure you have a full reward.  So, go to it!  Work as though Jesus is right next to you ... because He is (Hebrews 13:5-6)!

Dear Lord God. I am glad that You never change and that I am always Your special child. Thank You that You are as close to me at work as at church. Please forgive me when I give less priority to worshipping You at work, by my hard-working obedience to my boss, than when I pray, study and sing. Please help me learn how to have such an integrated Christian life that my work becomes worship, and that I look to You for a full reward one day. May my life in the workplace glorify You and attract others to follow Jesus too. In His Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams