Dirty Jobs

Read: Colossians 3:22–4:1
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people (v.23).

Spencer Johnson, author of Who Moved My Cheese? stated in an article: “I believe research may one day show that the only long-lasting motivation will come from employees who bring it to work in the form of God, spirituality, or something else that causes them to rise to a higher purpose.” Long before Dr. Johnson came to that conclusion, the apostle Paul said that slaves (employees) and masters (employers) should be motivated by a higher purpose in their jobs—their relationship with Jesus.

In Colossians 3:22–4:1, Paul discussed three important aspects of work—mandate, manner, and motivation. Employees have the mandate to obey their bosses out of reverence for Christ (Colossians 3:22). The manner in which they obey flows from a sincere heart and with a right attitude. Paul wrote, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Colossians 3:23). Employees can overcome the lack of motivation in their work and accept new responsibilities without a negative reaction by focusing on their true motivation: working for Jesus (Colossians 3:24).

Paul also addressed the actions of employers. They should treat their employees with fairness and justice as they honor their Master in heaven (Colossians 4:1; Philemon 16).

As followers of Jesus who work in the marketplace, we’re called to rise to a higher purpose in our jobs. If we’re employees, unless we know a task is sinful, we should do the job we were hired to do—every task, every workday. Even if our jobs are dirty or seem to lack meaning, we should perform them with excellence and the right attitude. If we’re employers, we should create fair and just environments out of our reverence and love for Jesus.

In both roles, we’re missionaries on assignment—representing the Master.


How would you rank your attitude toward your job, fellow employees, and your employer? If you did your work for Jesus every day, what difference would it make in the output and quality of your labor?

Taken from “Our Daily Journey”