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For the Lord and Not for Men


Serving God can be frustrating. The people we work with can be challenging. Those whom we serve can be ungrateful. Our hard work often seems to go unnoticed and unappreciated. We often feel like we work as hard as we can, only to find that the fruits of our labor are underwhelming. Finding qualified people to help us sometimes seems impossible. We get discouraged. Sometimes we even find ourselves wondering; “Why bother?”

My favorite Bible Verse in times like those is Colossians 3:23; Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men. What a wonderful reminder! We don’t do things in this world to gain approval or to amass accolades. The work we do isn’t for people – people who can be ungrateful, entitled, rude, and exhausting. The work we do is for God, and God alone. And He always notices.

In a sermon preached at the Castle Church in Weimar on October 25,1522, Martin Luther said the following; “The prince should think: ‘Christ has served me and made everything to follow Him; therefore, I should also serve my neighbor, protect him and everything that belongs to him. That is why God has given me this office, and I have it that I might serve Him.’ That would be a good prince and ruler. When a prince sees his neighbor oppressed, he should think: ‘That concerns me! I must protect and shield my neighbor...’ The same is true for shoemaker, tailor, scribe, or reader. If he is a Christian tailor, he will say: ‘I make these clothes because God has bidden me do so, so that I can earn a living, so that I can help and serve my neighbor.’ When a Christian does not serve the other, God is not present; that is not Christian living.”

Everything we do in life is for God. Remembering that will give us patience with difficult people, encouragement when our hard work goes unnoticed, help when we feel like we struggle alone, and joy on challenging days. Whatever we do, we should always remember that we are working for the Lord and not for men!

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