Work From The Soul

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” (Colossians 3:23, NASB95)


Paul is writing to believers who are slaves in a Roman culture. These are people who serve an earthly master but have been set free by the love of God and are called to live a new life in Christ. Is Paul affirming slavery and its abuses? No, absolutely not. Paul is promoting new freedom in slavery and service. Paul’s focus goes to the soul; the heart of the matter is having the right attitude when working for human leaders. Slaves were under the authority of their owners, who may or may not treat them well. These servants were part of the household and, in many ways, a normal part of society. Onesimus was a slave of Philemon who had run away, met Paul while Paul was imprisoned and was saved. Paul would later write to Philemon to forgive and accept Onesismus back into the household because Onesimus had a change of soul (Philemon 10-16) and now is beneficial to Philemon.

We all are servants of the Lord and should work in this world as if we are working for the Lord, Himself. It is amazing how many Christians have developed a worldly work ethic, which is “just showing up entitles me to a paycheck.” There are many who work for their boss only as long as it benefits them, and when the job doesn’t meet their expectations or develop an attitude of entitlement, they fall back to a worldly work ethic. It is sad when believers only appear to be working when their employer is looking, and then when the employer leaves, they hang out on Facebook or spend company time conducting personal business. Paul references these kinds of people as “man pleasers” and serving under “eye service” (Col. 3:22).

Christ-followers should be the best workers around. They should serve their employers as if they were serving Jesus himself. Some might argue, “you don’t know my boss; he is not Jesus.” From God’s perspective, your employer’s behavior does not enter the equation; you are called to serve the Lord by serving your employer.

You have been given a new heart and soul, and it is from that newness of life that you are to serve the Lord, and the Lord will honor you for that service. At that point, your paycheck is a bonus, and the payday is when you hear from Jesus, “His master said to him, “‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’” (Matthew 25:21, NASB95).

Leave a Reply