Within the scripture of Colossians 3:23-24, we find three themes that empower us to “triangulate” our way to greater spiritual significance at work. This is the significance we can find in any job, at any point in our careers. Here’s how it works:
Theme One: Purpose
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart . . .”
This theme reminds us that every kind of work can be spiritually significant, and therefore purposeful, if we approach it in God’s way. We need to focus on the “who” and the “how”, not the “what” and the “where”. The world is most interested in “what” – what kind of work do you do? Is it lucrative? And in “where” – where do you work? Is it prestigious?
In contrast, God is interested in the “who” and the “how”:
- Who are you serving spiritually at work? Spiritual service at work may sound mysterious or even intimidating. But it doesn’t need to. Think of it as simply ministering to the people right in front of you at work. For example, it’s spiritual service to pray for a colleague who is grieving the loss of a loved one.
- How are you serving to God’s glory? Serving may be “going the extra mile” to expedite an order for a customer who is behind. God can use these acts in powerful ways. When people ask why we are doing these things on their behalf, God has given us an opportunity to share our faith with them.
Theme Two: Authority
“. . . as working for the Lord, not for men . . .”
This theme reminds us that God is our ultimate boss. And we need to obey Him by standing firm in His standards. This sounds nice, but it’s a tough challenge when the standards of God and the standards of our employer don’t mesh well.
Typically, when you bring issues forward to an employer in a clear and constructive way, the employer is willing to work toward a positive resolution. The solution may not be perfect, or even permanent, but there is usually progress. In that rare, but real, instance when an employer refuses to work toward a positive resolution, we need to find a different employer!
Theme Three: Reward
“. . . since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
This theme reminds us that God is looking for our faithfulness to Him at work, and He will reward it accordingly. God’s reward is not about the present, like a raise or a promotion, but rather about the future.
The word “inheritance” is our clue here. We inherit something when the old passes away and the new begins to emerge. The Bible speaks in the context of the current heaven and earth passing away, and a new heaven and earth rising up into eternity.
It is in this eternal future that we will find our reward with God, working alongside him to advance his kingdom throughout the universe. A spiritually significant future indeed, reminding us that good things come in threes: Spiritual Triangulation!