Work from the heart
Colossians 3:22-23 says: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win 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 men.
In modern times, we might say, “Workers, obey your bosses in everything, not only when they are watching, but out of the sincerity of your hearts. Be single-minded, as in serving your Lord.”
According to “The Cultural and Political Setting of the New Testament” by Arthur A. Rupprecht, slavery, with all its attendant evils, was not only universally accepted in ancient times, but it was also considered a fundamental institution, indispensable to civilized society. More than half the people seen on the streets of the great cities of the Roman world were slaves. And that was the status of the majority of “professional” people such as teachers and doctors, as well as menial laborers and craftsmen.
Slaves were people with no rights, mere property existing only for the comfort, convenience and pleasure of their owners. In Colossians, Paul deals with the duty of slaves in the context of the family because slaves were considered a part of the household. The Bible often stresses that all Christians are brothers, whether slave or free. And all Christians are to serve their earthly masters in the same way they are to serve God.
Serving is to be done with sincerity of heart. “En haploteti kardias” literally translates as “singleness of heart” and implies absence of all base and self-seeking motives. Another literal translation may be “a heart without folds,” without deceptive appearances, without hidden motives or without concealment or cover-up.
Without conscious thought it is hard to think that data entry, filling orders, washing floors, changing oil, cooking, babysitting, etc., are all callings from God. But Jesus Christ asks us to take whatever tasks are given to us and to do them in God’s name and for His glory.
Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” May Christ’s glory shine through you as you dig ditches, fill orders, draw bridges, renew licenses and keep the community safe.
“Keep us, Lord, so awake in the duties of our callings that we may sleep in peace and awake in Thy glory.”
-- John Donne,
English poet, satirist, lawyer and Protestant priest,