Day 9

Christian Living

from the Colossians and Philemon reading plan

Colossians 3:18-25, Colossians 4:1, Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Micah 6:8, Ephesians 5:22-33, Ephesians 6:1-9

BY Rebecca Faires

I have to wash the dishes this morning. Last night we ate fresh bread with butter, roasted chicken and vegetables, and after dinner there was some snacking that included swiss cheese, spicy pepper jelly, and somehow, even freshly baked cookies were made and consumed. All of this “normal evening at home” revelry makes a mess. There are so many little water cups in my sink. The roasting pan might not even be soaking yet. And I wash dishes by hand, so I’m going to have to really get in there and get the job done.

But I feel like I’d rather do something else this morning. I feel like I’m called to read my book about walnut trees and drink coffee. Once I’ve had my coffee, I feel like I’m actually called to write my own book about trees (Oh my goodness, can you believe how the walnut flowers form in the spring!), so maybe I am. But really, what I’m actually called to right now is to wash those dishes. So, if I’m longing for a higher calling than that, then I should aim to wash those dishes cheerfully.

Now there’s a high calling: do the work that is set before you, no matter what it may be, with a cheerful heart. Paul wasn’t joking when he wrote, “Whatever you do, do it from the heart, as something done for the Lord” (Colossians 3:23). In other words, we are to do even our most mundane tasks for the Lord. Martin Luther King Jr. famously and beautifully said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.’”

We are called to cheerfully work as unto the Lord, even if we are dealing with drudgery or severe oppression from every standpoint. In this, we experience the highest and most difficult human act, that of humility in all our work and relationships. We also learn how to love the Lord with our entire being—heart, soul, and strength—submitting our will to His in all circumstances (Deuteronomy 6:4–5).

Why? Our reward isn’t the applause of men, or the accumulation of riches (even from the hypothetical publication of a thrilling tome on walnut leaves). Our reward and inheritance is from the Lord. We serve Christ, and what an honor that is, to serve the one who knelt and washed the filthy feet of His slow-to-listen, little-in-faith, betraying disciples (John 13:1–17). We are to serve in the same way He bore the cross for us. His humility is our example. He teaches us by example. May we learn “to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with [our] God” (Micah 6:8).

Post Comments (65)

65 thoughts on "Christian Living"

  1. Daisy Char says:

    Maria B, I am very late to reply so I hope you see this. I do not believe God’s will is that wives follow their husbands’ instruction when this instruction is not born out of love. The word of the Bible is not to be used to control someone. Only God can know if your husband is acting out of love or not, but as his actions are causing you anguish, I would first speak with him and explain how you feel, then, if not effective, speak with others you trust. Sometimes we will be asked to do things which we don’t want to do, but the intention is pure and in our best interests. At other times, there are people who may ask us to do things only to control us, which causes us anguish. The latter is not love, therefore cannot be considered Godly. Praying for you x

  2. Michelle A says:

    I feel the exact same way. And I am also pregnant! These verses are so encouraging — love when it says “not for people pleasing but

  3. Michelle A says:

    I feel the exact same way. And I am also pregnant! These verses are so encouraging — love when it says “not as people pleasers but with sincerity of heart.” It’s so much more fulfilling when I remember I am working for the Lord and not to please any man/woman.

  4. Gerin Thomas says:

    This devo hit hard for me. I’ve been feeling unhappy and ungrateful about my job lately. I think because the work and pace seems overwhelming as my husband and I prepare for our first baby in a few months. I’m encouraged to still give it my best because I’m working for the Lord and not for my manager

  5. Morgan Walker says:

    Madison: I felt the exact same way! Sometimes I get caught up on “what’s next for me” or “what I’m doing isn’t good enough”. But then I thought, maybe I am on the right track? I’m just not doing it with a grateful/cheerful heart or with humility. — I need to remind myself of these passages. It is all for the Lord.

  6. Madison Botch says:

    I’ve really been struggling to enjoy work lately. I just don’t want to do it most days and it’s been hard because my job this summer is relatively self-paced, so it’s easy to put things off. This passage spoke VOLUMES to me today in that I need to remind myself daily of doing this work for the Lord because this is what I’ve been called to!

  7. Victoria E says:

    @Gloria P thank you so much for your prayers!

  8. Leisa Larson says:

    I’m behind in seeing this and rarely comment, but I will pray for your precious nephew and your family. I pray he will come to know the Lord’s great love for him despite this hardship and that his spiritual vision would be a beautiful blessing to all.

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