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. Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:22-23
These two verses happen to be two of my favorite memory verses. I have them posted on the wall behind my computer as a constant reminder that I always have a choice. I wish I could tell you I always make the right choices, but I don’t. At times I feel like Paul in Romans 7. There is a constant battle going on between with our spiritual convictions and our earthly desires. I often catch myself trying to fight those battles in my own strength which leaves me exhausted and defeated. Can anyone relate? Part of living the Christian life is learning how to use the gifts and traits God has given us while at the same time allowing Him to do the work through us.
I once had a very wise pastor tell me that we can never completely rid ourselves of self. There will always be a tendency toward self. However, we can’t let our sinful nature keep us from striving to honor God in all we do. Afterall, God knows our heart.
These verses in Colossians are pretty straightforward. Our words and actions should always be about honoring Christ, but Paul doesn’t insert these verses in Colossians 3 without first providing guidance. Take a look!
Verse 2: Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Verse 5: Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
Verses 8: But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.
Verse 9: Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.
Verse12: As those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience;
Verse 13: bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.
Verse 14: Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.
Verse 15: Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Verse 16: Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
I know there are many verses here, but I wanted to separate them out and highlight words to emphasize the actions. It is pretty clear what we are to do, but it feels a bit overwhelming. This is when I have to stop and remind myself of the choices involved. God gives us choice.
· I can choose to try and accomplish all of this on my own, or I can claim Galatians 2:20.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
· I can choose to take control of my circumstances, or I can trust God to work through my circumstances.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
· I can choose to act on my feelings or emotions, or I can choose to obey God’s Word.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says”. James 1:22
So what does all of this have to do with being a Christian educator? Everything! As Christian educators, when we earnestly seek to always honor God with what we say and what we do, others will take notice. They will see educators who are kind, considerate, loving, hardworking, responsible, honest, patient, strong, and unique. God wants to take those exclusive traits He gave you and me and use them to draw others to Him.
So, don’t hide your gifts—use them! Don’t compare yourself to others; instead, capitalize on what you have and where God has placed you. By all means, don’t try to be perfect for He alone is perfect. All God wants is a willing vessel.
As we approach another week, let’s be purposeful and conscious about the choices we make. Don’t forget—you have a helper! We don’t have to rely on our own strength. (Galatians 5:16)
Whatever you do this week at work—in word and in deed—it is for His glory!