Denying Oneself (Part 2)
At the beginning of the summer, I wrote a pastoral word on the topic of denying oneself during vacation and unscheduled free times. Andy Muxlow encouraged me to consider the same topic with respect to the workplace. So, after enjoying Labor Day weekend, here I go. Instead of using the same passage (Matt. 16:24-27), I think another passage may be helpful. Allow Colossians 3:17, 22-24 to instruct our minds and guard our emotions:
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ... 22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
I love this passage. I can worship the Lord throughout the day (even teaching math)! Through mundane activities, we can worship if it is unto the Lord as we keep our minds on things above (Col. 3:2). That same chapter describes what that looks like: we are to put to death what is earthly and put on certain heart attitudes and behaviors. (Read verses 5-17. Seriously, read it.) As I keep my mind on Christ and act in conformity to His will, I can worship the Lord.
Notice the object of our worship in the above passage. The apostle Paul is directing our thoughts through repetition. Look at the following phrases from the text: “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” “fearing the Lord,” “for the Lord,” and “serving the Lord Christ.” The object of our thoughts throughout the day is the Lord. With this in mind, a brief warning: our joy is to be in the Lord, not merely in our duty. We worship the Lord through our work, but we don’t worship our work. Hard work that is devoid of joy, love and the correct object is Christ-less and godless. As we worship through everything that we do—working, managing our homes and even doing dishes—we can take comfort that there awaits us “the inheritance as our reward!” Throughout this following week, worship the Lord through all of your activities.