Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord. Colossians 3:23
On an October day in 1989 the communist regime of China executed 18 factory managers in a rice paddy while 500 plant workers watched. The charge: They had done "shabby work."
A church theologian stated years ago that Christians should not only do good works but do them well. God is not pleased with careless, half-hearted efforts, especially when they result in the loss of customers or the disadvantage of employers. The Ecclesiastes writer declares, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Jesus applied Himself diligently to His assignments, saying, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working" (John 5:17). Again, "As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work" (John 9:4). The great work the Father had assigned to Jesus, His incarnate Son, was the making of restitution for the sin of the world. He endured death on the cross to do it.
The apostles, following the example of Jesus, worked faithfully as His ambassadors. They instructed their followers to do likewise and to avoid sloth. Saint Paul wrote to the Ephesians, "Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men" (Ephesians 6:7). He told the Colossians to work faithfully "not only when their [masters'] eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord" (Colossians 3:22).
"Shabby work," while it certainly does not call for a Chinese-style execution, is not for Christians. The latter strive for excellence because they are the followers of Jesus, of whom the people said, "He has done everything well" (Mark 7:37), and they are the children of the heavenly Father who, on surveying His creation, declared it to be "very good" (Genesis 1:31).
PRAYER: O Lord God, help me to find pleasure and purpose in my daily work. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)