In the book of Colossians, the Apostle Paul tells us that no matter what we do we should “do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men”. (Col 3:23) Often I find myself concerned about what other people think of me instead of what Christ’s opinion is. Of course, this is caused by my selfishness and pride.
This past semester I started studying at home for a college degree. Every time I sit down to study it’s important for me to remind myself for Whom I am studying. The purpose of anything I do in my life should always be to please Christ. By earning this degree, I am working towards something that will give me more opportunities and make me seem more successful to other people. However, the real purpose for acquiring the degree is not so that I can have a great career or impress people. My purpose in earning the degree is so that I will be able to serve Christ in different ways than I am able to now.
Sometimes when we do something good and right for the right reason (pleasing Jesus!) people may think we are doing it for a selfish reason and they become upset. At other times when we do something right or wrong out of a selfish reason people will praise us. God understands our true motivations. “…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) Jesus should be the most important person and His good opinion the most treasured in our lives.
When Jesus’ opinion is my highest priority I always have a great peace. I am free from the pressures and opinions of other people and can focus wholeheartedly on doing the best I can for Jesus’ sake. However, this does not mean that I ignore my authorities’ wishes! It means that when my authorities give me a task to accomplish I should see it as a personal commission from Christ and do it diligently with a cheerful attitude. It also doesn’t mean that I can ignore other people! It means that I should see each person as an opportunity to show Christ’s love. Unfortunately, I don’t always do these things, but the Lord has been faithful to provide me with many opportunities to practice. 🙂 He will give you opportunities to practice in the coming year, too!
Happy New Year!