When I was quite a bit younger than I am now, I hated work.
Can any of you relate?
I would much rather play or read a fiction book or just goof off.
I remember my dad teaching me and my sisters to pull weeds in the raspberry patch. I strongly disliked the chore. He also taught us to pick raspberries; I didn’t mind that so much because then I could eat the berries.
A-a-and. He taught us to rake leaves. My dislike for the chore was obviously apparent one day, since my dad told me, “Some day you’ll thank me for teaching you to work.”
I didn’t believe him.
However, the day finally came when I was in my 30’s that I had to admit to him that he was right. Yeah, I know; slow learner. But better late than never!
And it wasn’t till I was at least 40 before someone debunked the lie that I had believed that work was part of the curse God put on the human race in the garden of Eden.
Instead, it turns out that I’m supposed to do my work “heartily as for the Lord.”
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward…It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23,24 NASB
I had read that verse many times and thought I understood it. I read the word “heartily” and thought “lively” or “spirited” or “with gusto” would be a good interpretation for the word. So, yeah, I’m supposed to be a hard worker and do it for the Lord, right?
Well, one day I finally decided to look that word up in Strong’s Concordance. I was surprised to find out that “heartily” actually came from 2 words, the first a preposition denoting origin, and the second a noun meaning breath or spirit which comes from the verb “to breathe voluntarily but gently“. The Interlinear Parallel New Testament translates it “from the soul“.
What this means to me is that I am to do my work with a voluntary, gentle spirit for the Lord.
- I’m not supposed to wait for someone to come along and make me do some work and then do it begrudgingly, grumbling all the while.
- I’m not supposed to grumble some more when no one seems to notice what a great job I did. How does that bring glory to God?
I’m supposed to proactively look for opportunities to serve others (including my children), then do the work willingly and voluntarily for the Lord, submitting my will to Him.
I believe that when God says of Himself, “God loves a cheerful giver,” He means not just our money, but also our service.
So, is anybody up for cheerfully serving the Lord today? And tomorrow, and the next day, and the next?
May we resolve this year to serve the Lord willingly, constantly (even in our home life), voluntarily, and cheerfully. May we in doing so bring a smile to His face.