Whatever You Do, Do It Heartily

There is a legendary D-1 football coach whose name will remain anonymous. He had an athlete who was an outspoken Christian. The young man had grown up in our church and was known for his faith. He was sleeping in, cutting class, and goofing off in practice. The coach called him into his office. On the coach’s desk was a Bible. After a brief opening chat, the coach pushed the Bible across his desk right in front of the athlete and said, “Show me one place in that book where it gives you the right to cut class, slack off in practice, and not be and do your best at whatever you do.” There was no self-excusing response.

The athlete got the message, reacted positively, became regular in class, and all out in practice. His grades improved dramatically, and he went on to be an All American that year. It was truly a remarkable turnaround. 

All Christians are under this mandate: “… whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” (Colossians 3:23) No room to goof allowed there.

Christians are to work “heartily.” The Greek phrase ek psyches, means “from the soul.” This implies the ideas of enthusiasm and passion. 

You do not need to be in full-time ministry to work for the Lord. It is not so much what you do; it is who you do it for! If we keep focused on the truth that we are working for the Lord, then even menial tasks seem important.

Many people hate their jobs. They long for 5:00 PM or Friday afternoon. They think of work as something they must do in order to get paid so they can afford the house, the car, the tuition, the groceries, and the vacation they desperately want. Work, for so many is nothing more than a necessary evil. It doesn’t have to be this way.

The Christians who received this exhortation originally were slaves. By keeping their minds on the Lord, not their slave master, they found meaning. The same works for us. Focus on your spiritual Master, not your boss.

Then you realize, you are not working for Walmart, (or whoever) you are working for the Lord at Walmart. Even if you are no longer in the workforce, do all as to the Lord.

“Whatever you do,” no matter what, do it in a manner pleasing to the Lord.

As a conclusion consider this modern translation and application.

“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)

He offers a great retirement plan.