By Chaplain (Maj.) Clark Sneed
Special to GUIDON
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
— Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
Imagine that you work for an organization where every employee arrived at work determined to offer their day’s labor as their sacrifice to God.
How might your day be different?
Paul writes this to the Church — a bunch of people with all kinds of vocations. There may have been skilled professionals alongside day laborers; moms with screaming children and elderly grandparents wondering where the new generation went wrong. But all of these people did something: they plowed fields, hemmed tents, churned butter – who knows? And they had frustrations, just like we do. They had to deal with people and circumstances that turned their best plans into disaster.
Paul raises them above their circumstances when he says, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” What happens when you live by this standard? I have a few ideas.
First, you work hard. You show up on time and get the job done right. After all, this range operation, spreadsheet, fitness test or diaper change isn’t for your boss — it is an offering to God.
Second, you do the right thing. It is difficult cheat, steal, or lie and then make that your gift to the Almighty.
Third, your job satisfaction improves. Maybe you don’t love what you do, but you love doing your best for the one you love most.
Fourth, though your results improve, your job satisfaction is independent of those results. You have a higher calling, a higher purpose, than your annual evaluation.
Finally, you develop a new and unexpected love for your neighbor. How is that? Because God loves people very much, and when your work is an expression of your love for God, it inevitably begins to include a love for his people.
This week, whether you have the best job ever, or if you question the value of your labor, accept Paul’s challenge. Make this day’s work an offering to the one who loves you dearly.
(Editor’s note: Sneed is a chaplain at the U.S. Army Engineer School.)