It is very easy to live as one who gives “eye-service” for other people. But what about God’s eyes? Have I taken His will into consideration? Paul urges us to be watchful so that we serve God and not men.
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” Colossians 3:23.
Such a simple scripture – yet with such an incredible, liberating message! When I do everything heartily (i.e. from the heart) for the Lord, this overrides all ambitions of wanting to make a good impression on other people. I am doing it for God!
When the boss walks in…
We generally work a little extra hard when the boss walks in. This happens almost unconsciously, and may not seem like a big deal. But it actually reveals a deep truth about myself: I am born with an instinct to care deeply about what others think of me. Why else would I not have been working just as hard the whole time?
Paul understood human nature, and was well aware of this weakness. He addresses this very aptly in several of his letters. In Ephesians, he writes clearly about how we as Jesus’ disciples are called to serve and work:
“…not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” Ephesians 6:6-7.
If I am preoccupied with other people’s opinions and thoughts, and worry about pleasing everyone all of the time, then I do not have an ear or a sense for what God wants to say to me in the situations. He has placed me where I am for a reason, with the tasks I have there. I need my eyes opened so that I can see the same opportunities as God.
Am I a servant of Christ in everything I do?
“…but as bondservants of Christ…” I am called to be a servant of Christ! How does a servant of Christ behave on the job? How does he or she think? A servant of Christ always rejoices in the Lord! A servant of Christ makes every effort to keep their heart pure! A servant of Christ is called to be righteous in all things. The goal for a disciple of Jesus is not a superficial, “nice looking” Christian life; but rather to be one who is “doing the will of God from the heart.” (Philippians 4:4; Proverbs 4:23; 1 Timothy 6:11)
When I constantly abide consciously in His presence, and live to be well-pleasing in God’s eyes, decisions become much clearer for me. Should I look at this, read this, or say this? God pays close attention to me: What is He thinking about this? In this way I can always be cleansing my thoughts and thus gain a peace in life that only someone who lives for God can know.
I can do something for Jesus!
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40.
We are called to be a blessing on earth, and to be a blessing for Jesus’ name’s sake. By doing something for my fellow men, I have the opportunity to do something for Jesus – whether it is giving a smile, doing the dishes for someone, or giving money to someone who I know needs it. Then I can have this thought before me: at the same time am doing it for my precious Jesus. This brings a whole new dimension to what I do, and I no longer have a need to receive honor or thanks from the recipient. I have already received what I need from Jesus – He gave His life for me, and has given me the possibility to become like Him! Now it is my turn to give something back!
I want to be a blessing, and I get grace to be a blessing. I do this consciously to live worthy of my calling, and I do it joyfully. Then I am a true servant of Christ who lives before God’s eyes. When I let God lead me, not people, and follow His guidance, then I can be a good example that has a drawing effect on those around me. I become a light on earth, evidence that Jesus’ life can also come forth in me.
A life before God’s eyes
Life becomes remarkably easier when I do everything as to the Lord, and my love to Him is the driving force in my life. When I practice this, I become less and less dependent on the people watching me. God Himself will fill me with power and a desire to do all the good for His sake, and He blesses what I do. What more could you wish for?
Let us take Paul’s recommendation to heart – always do our service as to the Lord, regardless what we are doing!