Day 1 – Whatever you Do, do it for the glory of God – Colossians 3:1-17
A believer in Jesus Christ has been changed and behaves differently than an unbelieving world. This is a key tenant of Christianity. The theological term used to describe that difference is holiness. Its primary meaning is to be set apart. The term is used to describe the Lord and if believers are imitators of God, they should also be holy. In the first 17 verses of Colossians 3, the Apostle Paul speaks directly to this subject and identifies numerous ways the believer is different than the unbelieving world. As you read through his discussion, you will note that unbelievers may exhibit some of the characteristics he mentioned. You may know unbelievers who are not full of anger and never slander others. That does not make them a Christian. They may have simply learned and developed from teachings or examples of such behavior. But for the believer, the behavior is related directly to their walk with Jesus. When a believer fails in the areas listed in these verses, it is an indication of a suffering relationship with the Lord. For the purposes of this week’s study, Faithfulness in Vocation, attention will be given to only the 17th verse. The other verses will provide context.
Paul encouraged the church to do all things, whether it was something they said or something they did, in the name of the Lord Jesus. To do something in the name of the Lord Jesus is to do something as His representative. When someone in the military puts on the uniform, their performance is in the name of their country. When US astronauts placed a flag on the moon, it was an American flag, not a personal flag. That is because they were exploring space in the name of the USA. So it is with believers in Christ. Our work on earth is in the name of Jesus. When a believer works in a vocation, whether as an employee, a business owner, or a volunteer, it is as a representative of Jesus and for His glory.
The second principle in this verse is one of thankfulness for an opportunity to work. The believer is not only a representative of Jesus, he is to be thankful for the opportunity to work. Yesterday I stopped by a convenience store and picked up an item from the shelf. While the cash register attendant was ringing up the sale, I inquired as to his wellbeing. His response was, “I am well considering it is a workday.” I simply looked up at the young man and said, “Work is a privilege and a good thing.” He smiled and said, “It is certainly better than laying around the house.” We are to be thankful to God for a place to work. The first command God gave to Adam was to take care of the Garden. That is paramount to work. Man was made to work. Does that mean we must enjoy every aspect of our work? There are tasks in our vocations that may not bring us enjoyment. One for me is confrontation. Yet confrontation is a necessary task for one who supervises others. It is part of the job. It does put a person in a place of losing her joy.
The one who performs their vocation as a representative of Christ with a thankful heart is a faithful servant of the Living God. Faithfulness in a vocation is a virtue and a key characteristic of a believer. How would you rate your performance as a representative of Christ in your vocation?