“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24
Death has the ability of putting everything into perspective for us, does it not? Last week, the world said goodbye to a global hero, whether we were ready to or not. Nelson Mandela’s legacy will not soon be forgotten, if ever, because his was a life well-lived. He lived a life that mattered, and although I don’t assume that the details of my life will greatly compare to those of his, I pray that my life will also be a life well-lived.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, my aim must be “nothing short of everything” because of the one I serve. I think about the mundane duties of my day to day life, and I hardly, if ever, go about those duties as if I were doing them for the Lord. Imagine the difference in the outcome, though, if Christ were my central focus. When serving coffee to early morning, tired and sometimes grouchy customers, would they more than likely have an encounter with Jesus if I served as if I were serving Jesus Himself? Would my husband find our home a place of peace, joy, and comfort if I cooked, cleaned, and folded laundry with excellence, as if for Jesus Himself? If I treated the cashier with dignity and respect as if it were Jesus Himself checking me out, would they see just a glimpse of heaven in our short interaction? If I stopped compartmentalizing the things in my life as those of greater or lesser importance but rather sought Christ’s approval in all things, therefore striving for excellence, how would the world around me change? These might seem strange questions to you, but I can’t help but wonder if this is exactly what the apostle Paul was trying to articulate to us in his letter to the Colossians.
To do everything as unto the Lord and not for men means giving, serving, cleaning, cooking, raising children, loving your spouse, helping others, meeting needs, extending grace, and sacrificing self as if everything you were doing was for Jesus Christ Himself. I’ve heard this said so often, in one way or another, and I’m guessing you have to:
“What would you say or do in this situation if Jesus were standing right beside you?”
Guess what? He is. He sees. He hears. He knows. Our every action, thought, word, and deed should be done with the underlying motivation to please the Lord. If it wouldn’t please Him, we shouldn’t do it. If our half-hearted service on the job or in the home is only motivated by pleasing man, we are missing the mark. A life well-lived isn’t necessarily Nobel Peace Prize worthy. It isn’t necessarily the one who receives all the press. A life well-lived is the life who does all things as if doing them for Jesus Christ Himself. It’s the life that rises above mediocrity and the status quo. It’s the life that shouts, “Nothing short of everything.” That is the life I want to live.