Recently, I lost a friend who died suddenly from complications with Covid-19. Her unexpected death sent shock waves throughout the church community and among her friends and family. As we met together to reflect on her life and the memories we shared with her, one thing was evident: she gave her best in everything she did. As I listened to the tributes offered, I was challenged to reflect on my own life, and to consider the way in which I live and serve those around me; more importantly, I was challenged to reflect on the way in which I serve the Lord.
“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 chapter 3 verse 17)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians chapter 3 verse 23)
The Apostle Paul challenged the Colossian Church to honour God through their actions, by doing everything as though they were doing it for the Lord and not for men. This may not be easy especially when those we are working for or working with are unpleasant to be around; or when those we are serving show no appreciation for what we are doing. However, when we shift our focus from men to God, it becomes so much easier to work and serve others, because irrespective of how men behave, God's love and ways are unchanging, and He is worthy and will always be worthy of our best efforts.
Strive to please God
Sometimes as we work, we do so to gain favour and approval from those around us. While this is not always a bad thing, we must ensure that this does not outweigh our desire to please God. This is because we can become so preoccupied with pleasing others that we lose sight of what God may be doing or saying to us at the time. We must ensure that our actions are in line with what God says, even if it means disobeying those who lead us. God’s Word always has the final say!
Ways to work and serve as unto the Lord
Working as unto the Lord simply means that whatever we do, we do for the Lord and not for earthly rewards or selfish gratifications. Working as unto the Lord means that we will demonstrate a good work attitude regardless of where we are in life. Working as unto the Lord means that despite how we feel, our conduct will align to that of a child of God, who is always displaying the fruit of the Spirit to those around him.
As we work and serve the Lord, we must do so with:
1. Praise and thanksgiving
“Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm chapter 100 verse 2)
It is not always easy to offer to the Lord praise and thanksgiving while serving others, especially when we are being mistreated. But as we do, we honour God and minister to those around us, even those who mistreat us. Approaching our work with praise and gratitude to God, makes our problems and the issues that present themselves while we work smaller, because God is now magnified. Praise and thanksgiving will shift our focus from the problem to the Problem Solver.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1st Peter chapter 5 verses 6-7)
A part of humility is surrendering our lives completely to God. This means that we are allowing Him to do as He will with our lives and trusting that He has our best interest at heart. This means that we will submit to Him and be compliant with what He asks of us, as He places us in different situations.
This is not easy especially when we are placed in unfavourably scenarios, where we are being taken for granted and mistreated. Oftentimes, these situations cause us to feel frustrated and discouraged and may even lead us to tears. But as we trust the Lord and His plans for us, we come to the realization that we labour not in vain, for God uses trials to mould us into the image of His Son. Furthermore, “those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126 verse 5)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians chapter 6 verse 9)
When we serve those around us well, and they are unappreciative, it makes us want to stop. However, the Bible encourages us to not give up, but to keep pressing on and to keep doing good. You see, although those we are working for and are serving take no notice of us and what we are doing, God sees, and in His perfect timing He will acknowledge us; He will lift us up.
We are called to serve others, but as we do, our focus and our reason for doing it must reside in the Lord. If not, we will lose the passion and the motivation because not only do people change, but they can be very unappreciative and discouraging. When our motive for serving others rests in the Lord, we are in a better place because we know that whatever happens, our steps are being ordered by Him and He takes account of everything we do; so, whatever we do, whether in word or deed, let’s do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Rose-Ann Durant is a young Christian from Kingston, Jamaica, who is currently living in Barbados. She is the 2021 Basil Sellers International (18-30) Awardee and in August 2021, became a contributing writer for Victorious By Design, a digital and print media group that seeks to encourage women of all ages to walk victoriously into all that God has called them. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, going to the beach, river, and spending time outdoors.