Friday, August 26, 2022
My junior and senior years of high school were not the proudest moments as a student. I failed my math class my junior year and was forced to take a remedial course. My senior year, I failed two more courses; one of them was service learning. It’s embarrassing to admit as someone who had the tools to be exceptional and as someone who speaks daily into the lives of adolescents, but I was unmotivatable. I had determined I was going to expend the least amount of effort possible to cross the finish line of high school graduation. However, that didn’t stop one teacher from trying to spur me forward. My AP Biology Teacher, Mr. Amato, passed back another failed test to me somewhere at the close of winter of my senior year. As he did so, he looked me in the eyes and said to me “Do everything as it’s for God.” The statement hit like daggers. It came from a place outside of church in a very public school. It momentarily pierced my impervious hardened heart towards my school work, and I felt truly ashamed of my effort. I wish I could continue the story and state that I aced my next test, or even, passed the class, but neither happened. However, my labor for the Lord, spurred by these words, has happened in a classroom further down the road.
There are some of us who will get the opportunity to share our faith stories with an audience of hundreds or even thousands. Our account will be spread far and wide of the miracle of Jesus Christ in our life, but our story is best told, not in quantity, but quality. All of us will first and foremost have a ministry to our family, our friends, and for those we work for and alongside. How well do we listen to instructions? Follow through on our word? And present our absolute best in the work that exists in front of us? We may be more knowledgeable than the CEO, have more experience than our district manager, or could teach the class far better than our professor (quick note: definitely not the case in AP Bio), but who will ever know through our lack of focus, negligible efforts, and lack of compliance? Whether you are the boss or the bondservant, you work for the gospel of Jesus Christ in your efforts.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 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. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism. – Colossians 3:22-25
God has placed you where he needs your testimony to shine. We are not ourselves saviors, but we do reflect the light of Jesus Christ when we work like him. It doesn’t mean that we are to be workaholics or slaves to our jobs. We are to render to Little Caesars what is Little Caesars. Working 9 to 5 means we are on the clock. We don’t cut corners. We work harder, not to get ahead, but to build the platform on which to share our testimony. Chances are if we don’t like our work, yet love the Lord and see it through completion, it will be noticed. But what if it isn’t? Your inheritance isn’t found in your work or your career. The promise of promotion isn’t the driving force behind your labor. There is ministry in the few hours spent at church for the Lord, but equally, or possibly more so, in the 40 hours working for the man. You will infinitely be repaid for your efforts by the one for whom you slave, Jesus Christ. Be God’s vessel wherever you are. Do it for the Lord.
“ Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” – Colossians 3:16, 17
Questions for Reflection and Discussion
- Whether you are a student, an employee, a boss and/or a family member, how can you do it today as working for the Lord?
- What negative work habits can you work on overcoming so you can be a positive witness to those around you?
- What positive role models have you seen in the workplace/school?