Scripture: Colossians 3:18-25
Observation: Paul instructs wives to submit to their husbands, for husbands to love their wives, for children to obey their parents, and for parents not to aggravate their children to anger. He finishes by encouraging slaves to obey their masters, to serve them sincerely, and work as if working for the Lord.
Application: You know that saying “dance like no one’s watching”? I never understood it – probably because I dance like a crazy person whether no one’s watching or everyone’s watching. I don’t discriminate. To be honest, I’m a pretty terrible dancer, but thankfully, I have fairly high self-esteem (yes, that’s code for “I can pretty conceited sometimes”) – so if I’m at a wedding or a party, you better believe I’m poppin’, I’m lockin’, I’m droppin’, and I’m most definitely embarrassing myself and everyone around me. There’s no shame in my game.
When it comes to dancing, I’m going for it – no matter who’s around or what’s going on. But when it comes to other things in life, what I do is determined by who’s watching. When I was younger, I’d clean up my room like Mr. Clean when my parents were watching… and then go back to reading a book when they weren’t. When I was in school, I’d work diligently on a worksheet when my teacher was watching… and then pass notes to friends when she wasn’t.
What do we do when someone else isn’t watching? Do we find the motivation and resolve inside of ourselves to give it our all… or do we give up?
When Paul talks to the Colossians, he gives them instructions for their households and their specific roles. When he gets to slaves, he provides the most in-depth and specific instruction. God willing, none of us have ever experienced the slavery that Paul refers to as part of the ancient world… but we’ve all been enslaved – in relationships, in careers, in empty pursuits of wealth and affirmation and status.
Here’s how Paul puts it:
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (v. 23)
Do we work willingly at everything we do, regardless of who it’s for? Do we see every opportunity as one to serve the Lord? When we’re challenged, frustrated, and disappointed, are we willing to see every opportunity as one to serve the Lord rather than someone else – or even ourselves?
How would you act in your marriage if you were doing it for the Lord? How would you act as a parent? Student? Employee? Boss? Coach? Neighbor? Friend?
Let’s work willingly at every opportunity – and do it for the Lord.
Prayer: God, I pray you’ll give me a new perspective in every area of my life. I pray I’ll work willingly – no matter how challenged or frustrated I am – and do it to serve you. Let your fruit take root in my life. Amen.