Monday, September 3, 2018

Devotionals for the Heart: Love


Is your work a labor of love for the Lord?
A devotional by Jessica Brodie


“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.” –Colossians 3:23-24 (NIV)

She had two-inch burgundy nails, glitter on her eyes, and the biggest smile I’d ever seen—and she made my day. Ringing up my purchases at the local megastore, this cashier chatted joyfully as she slid items across the scanner and into the bags. She smiled like she meant it. I’d never met her before, but her attitude lifted my heart and made me want to know her. She represented the store well, and I’d be willing to bet she also represented her faith well. For she clearly was a Christian, and the words “Jesus” or “church” didn’t even need to come out of her mouth for me to know that.

But, of course, she’s an anomaly. Most times I’m at that store, I get a cashier who rarely makes eye contact, let alone mutters a “have a nice day.”

I get it. Years of working day in and day out can take a toll on a person. We become lost in the work, lost in the shuffle of busy-ness. We forget about the big picture—why we are working—and sucked into whatever it is we are working on. Our perspective about life starts to change with this.

Defeated by the prospect of endless working, some people just seem to give up. They show up at their job, do just enough to get by so they don’t get fired, collect their paycheck, and go home.

As Christians, that’s not the kind of workers we are called to be. The apostle Paul had some important words about the work we do on earth. He wrote several times about the importance of working hard and giving our all. After all, the way we live our lives reflects our Lord. If we claim to be Christians but spend our time being lazy, mean-spirited, or selfish, we aren’t reflecting our Lord in a good and proper manner.

In his letter to the early Christians in Colossae, Paul urged obedience and an upright, faithful life. He urged husbands and wives to respect each other, and the same for children and parents. And when it comes to work, he urged, “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” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV).

Work is a given. We spend our lives at work, and while the pay varies, everyone has a job. Some work as parents, some as teachers, some as business owners, some as employees.

Our challenge as Christians is to do that work as though we are doing it for Christ—for in reality, that’s exactly who we are doing it for. Everything about us—the way we live, the way we love, the way we speak, the way we think—comes back to the Lord. We are to serve Him in all we do, at every moment.

It’s not just so we can represent our faith well, though that certainly is a bonus. But our work, all we do on earth, is tied up in our souls. When we greet a customer, we’re greeting someone in the Lord. When we use our God-given gifts, whether that’s working on a car or preaching the Gospel, it’s all in the Lord.

Nothing we do is too small or insignificant to matter. All we do is seen and noticed. And everything can point to Christ if we let it.

This Labor Day, think about how you can allow the work you do to glorify God and point the way to eternity. Is there anything you could be doing better to make that happen?

~*~
Author Bio:

Jessica Brodie is a Christian author, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach. 

She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism.

Learn more about her fiction and read her blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.

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