Do you work heartedly… Colossians 3:23

22Servants, in everything obey those who are your masters on earth, not only with external service, as those who merely please people, but with sincerity of heart because of your fear of the Lord.

23Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,

24knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [not from men] that you will receive the inheritance which is your [greatest] reward.

It is the Lord Christ whom you [actually] serve.

25For he who does wrong will be punished for his wrongdoing, and [with God] there is no partiality [no special treatment based on a person’s position in life].

Colossians 3:22-25

Select Commentary

The Pulpit Commentary – “From [ἐκ, out of] the soul “indicates the spring of their exertions – inward principle, not outward compulsion; the servant must put his soul into his work. “Soul” implies, even more than “heart,” the engagement of the man’s best individual powers (comp. Philippians 1:27, as well as Ephesians 6:6). The slaves’ daily taskwork is to be done, not only in sight and in fear of the Lord (ver. 22 b; Ephesians 5:21), but as actually “to the Lord.” Him they are serving (ver. 24 b), who alone is “the Lord” (Colossians 2:6); every mean and hard task is dignified and sweetened by the thought of being done for him, and the commonest work must be done with the zeal and thoroughness that his service demands (comp. Ephesians 6:7, “with good will doing bond service”). The word “not” (οὐ instead of μὴ) implies that their service is actually rendered to One other and higher than “men” (1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 1:10).

Matthew Henry Commentary – “Servants are to do their duty, and obey their masters’ commands, in all things consistent with duty to God their heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent; without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those who fear God, will be just and faithful when from under their master’s eye, because they know they are under the eye of God. And do all with diligence, not idly and slothfully; cheerfully, not discontented at the providence of God which put them in that relation.

And for servants’ encouragement, let them know, that in serving their masters according to the command of Christ, they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward at last.

But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, as well as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masters wrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth will deal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon a level at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make the world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of things, and every relation of life! But the profession of those persons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause for complaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves, as well as brings reproach on the gospel.”

Matthew Poole’s Commentary – Yea, courageously and cheerfully, from the very soul, not constrainedly and murmuringly, though they be froward and their commands harsh; making account it is Jesus Christ, (who hath power over soul and body, Matthew 10:28), not mortal men only, or in and for themselves, whom you serve, {see Ephesians 6:7} have an eye unto this Sovereign Lord, in the servile office your masters on earth do employ you.

Gill’s Exposition – do it heartily, not by mere force and necessity, grudgingly, and with murmurings, but from the heart, and with good will, having a true, real, and hearty affection for their masters, having their good and interest at heart, and a delight in their service; like the Hebrew servant, that loved his master, as also his wife and children, and therefore would not depart from him, see Exodus 21:5,

Key Words

Hearts Heartily Labour Rather Readily Serving Soul Task Whatever Whatsoever Work Working

My Pondering

Wow, there is much wisdom regarding working in this passage. We see the proverbial carrot and the stick. Obviously, our sometimes fickle, oft wondering hearts need the rod. Discipline is important to be a disciple (notice the words are a wee but similar). High performing athletes, military veterans and diligent workers need discipline.

Yet, we also we there is a great reward promised for those who obey. Not just in the ‘here and now’ but more so into eternity. When we work, when our motivation, when our heart and soul is behind our endeavors God is glorified, thus we are rewarded infinity by Christ Himself,mas it He who is our ultimate boss. That’s BOSS my friend! Ponder that!

Let’s be intolerant towards mediocrity, crush slothfulness, and leave laziness in the dust.

Diligent sincerity of heart matters.

Motivational intent matters.

Big picture, eternal perspective matters.

Let’s Pray

Lord, You clearly care about how we use the time, talent and treasure You have allocates and make available. Help each of us make the most of it while we work unto You.


If you are just working for sustainment of self and family, that’s okay because it’s an essential. But there is much more than okay. Our diligent work can also be spiritual, a form of worship. I hope you get that as you get Jesus, who is depicted in this post working for His father and His Father (get the double meaning?). I hope so. If this post helps you some way or you have any input or questions, the comment line is open.

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