Colossians 3:23-24(KJV) “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
As I write this column today I am reminded of the old saying: “No matter the task, large or small, do it well, or not at all!”
In the scripture you have just read, the Apostle Paul clearly establishes “an expectation of quality and excellence” regarding our work as Christians. But sadly, as Steve Jobs once said, “…Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” Unfortunately, this is where many Christians and churches reside today. There is no expectation of quality and excellence regarding the work of Christ. Good enough is exactly that – good enough! It makes no difference if it is our best; it’s just good enough! Every shortcut imaginable in our Christian service is being taken. And by and large, we have “dumbed down” God’s standard of quality and excellence for Christianity. Excellence, or our best, is no longer expected or demanded. The prevailing attitude today seems to be to preach a gospel that demands nothing and expects nothing. Come as you are and leave as you came; there is no expectation of quality and excellence. For that matter, there’s no longer even an expectation of change.
I heard a story the other day about a man who visited West Minister Abbey in England. It just so happened that while he was there workers were removing the beautiful, ornate, intricately carved statues from the pulpit area for cleaning. This was the first time they had been moved for cleaning in hundreds of years. The backs of the statues had always been against a wall. Amazingly, when the workers pulled the statues away from the wall, they discovered that the backs were carved with the same intricate detail as the front and were just as beautiful. What makes this discovery so stunning is that those who carved the statues thought that once they were put into place no human eye would ever see the backs. So, why did they put so much time and effort into something they believe would never be seen? They did it because they knew that God would see them! They were doing it “as unto the Lord” – and not to impress people. Now, this is a key principle for you and me – they saw their work – as worship. What they were doing with their hands – was worship to God. You’ve heard the phrase “Whistle while you work.” Well, “Worshipping while you work” takes our Christian experience to a whole new level! Now, I want you get your mind wrapped around this: When we do that which God has both gifted and called us to do, in His presence, with excellence, endeavoring to be please Him rather than to impress people, then our work becomes worship!
It is the unseen things in each of our lives, the parts that only God sees, that make the greatest impact upon our Christian walk. Therefore, we cannot afford to take shortcuts or ignore what we believe others will never see. We must remember that there will come a time when the statues of our lives will be removed and inspected by the Lord. At that moment, I believe each of us will wish we had paid more attention to the quality of our work in the unseen areas of our lives! You see, at that moment our work will either become worship or woe. And it can only become worship if we have given the proper attention to the unseen areas of our Christian walk.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”