"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 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
There is something quite interesting about the heart. We talk about the heart at times as if it were a friend or a guide. We say to others how much our heart hurts to see someone in pain, or how we felt it in our hearts to pray for a family member. The heart is "active". The heart makes decisions, it feels, it has motives.
A motive is a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or secret, and when the heart is involved, motive is everything. One thing that we sometimes fail to grasp in our world today is that God cares about what you do in secret and your motives more than what you do outwardly. Hear my heart today. Doing good things outwardly is not wrong, in fact we are called to love others, to serve others, to encourage others etc. It is when the motive of our heart is tainted, and we crave praise from people that we should check ourselves.
So when Paul is telling the people of Colossae that they need to work at everything as if working for the Lord and not for human masters, he is challenging them to really look inwardly and check where their heart is at. Paul knew the human condition. He understood that people did works of service or righteousness outwardly only to get a fleeting reward in the form of applause or praise. We are all prone to this condition whether we admit to it or not. Everyone craves to be seen, but sometimes we crave to be seen by the wrong master.
Jesus spoke about it in Matthew 6:1
Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don't make a performance of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won't be applauding. (MSG)
Can you think of an area in your life where you are putting on a performance only to get praise from others? Write it down.
God ultimately wants us all to see that our work and how we live our lives is ultimately a sign of praise and worship for Him. After all, without Him, we would have nothing. Our careers, our jobs, our life, all of these are gifts that he has lavished upon us. Nothing is ours to keep so we should be servingwholeheartedly because He gave everything to us. It is not people that we should be making proud, it is HIM, our Master in heaven. That begins by giving yourself a good heart check and checking your motives. Are you working hard to please Him, or are you doing it for all the wrong reasons? I challenge us all to start being more aware of the things we do, and the reasons we do them, for if it is not to give Him glory, we may need to reevaluate why we began doing those things in the first place.
If you are struggling with this today, take heart and be encouraged. You are not alone. The great news is that God knows it, sees it, and will meet you where you are at! You only need to welcome Him in and ask him to help you.
God, I thank You for all of the blessings You have given me. For all of the opportunities that You have presented. For all of the gifts. Lord I pray today that you give me the ability to discern the motives of my heart. I pray Lord that no matter what, I remember that everything I do should be to give you glory. Everything I do should be done with a heart of love as if I was working for YOU, no one else. God I thank You for you grace and mercy, and for meeting me right where I am at. God give me the wisdom and strength to be obedient and to work hard for You, not for man. Thank You for who You are Lord, I am honored to be your child and to have a loving caring father like You. Allow me to walk with you all the days of my life. Amen.