Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 ESV
Looking back over 30 years of working in corporate America, I realize how much recognition is part of that environment. There are reviews where your manager, and sometimes peers, evaluate your work. Your rating score usually affects your salary increase. Bonuses and other monetary incentives are also based on subjective evaluations of how well objectives are met. Whether as a waitperson receiving a tip for a job well done or a bonus for finishing the construction of a house early, the focus of much of our working careers is one of recognition and reward.
Today’s scripture introduces a paradigm shift, a new way of thinking. We are to do our jobs well and with enthusiasm, but instead of doing it for the recognition of man, we do it for God. Still, while working in the world, we have an opportunity to serve Christ. How we conduct ourselves at work is a witness to the Holy Spirit within us. All those we contact, coworkers, customers, etc., notice a difference in us. While we are working to accomplish the same tasks, our focus differs. Where others may be focused solely on the recognition and reward, we put God first, confident that he provides. We can do this because we have his promise, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mt. 6:31-32 NIV) In addition, we are assured of receiving a more excellent eternal bonus in working for the Lord.
God, we give you thanks for work. In it, we can use the gifts and talents you have given us. Please help us to do our tasks with joy and use it as an opportunity to serve you. We also thank you for providing for our every need and promising our future eternal reward. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.