Serve with Sincerity of Heart—Colossians 3:22
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord” (Colossians 3:22)
What shocking instructions given the context; written to enslaved believers. Counseling them to obey their masters in everything; not merely to win favor but because they were Christians and it was the right thing to do. While the Bible in no way condones slavery, imagine the difference this made in witnessing for Christ in these situations.
These instructions are relevant today as well because everyone has a boss or someone in authority over them. While many in the modern world do not experience the type of slavery that existed during the time of the Roman empire in which Paul writes, the principle remains true—you can serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord.
Here’s the key, serve genuinely out of sincere reverence for God. This means that we are to work just as hard when alone as when watched by others. Our effort should not merely be given to win favor but rather out of dedication to the Lord. “Servants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not only when their eyes are on you as pleasers of men, but in simplicity of purpose [with all your heart] because of your reverence for the Lord and as a sincere expression of your devotion to Him” (vs. 22 AMP).
Even if your employer does nothing to deserve your respect; it is due them given their position over you. To serve them well, is to serve Christ well. “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered” (I Timothy 6:1).
Lastly, serve fully knowing it is really the Lord Jesus we minister too.“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (vs. 23-24). For in this, carries the promise of a great reward.
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Think about your current situation; in what ways should you apply these principles? Offering respect to your boss? Working hard even when no one’s watching? Changing your attitude in what you’ve been instructed to do?