“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.” - Colossians 3:22-25 NIV
Often times we will read this passage and focus in on verse 23, which says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”
It’s a great passage. A great reminder of how we should approach our work.... and really all that we do in life.
However, the part that caught my attention today was the portion just before verse 23. The portion that says, “... and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord."
Reverence - a feeling of respect and honor.
In my mind, reverence is deeper and stronger than respect.
We may have respect for a teacher, a coach, a boss, an elected official. But usually, that’s out of respect for the position and not necessarily out of respect for them as individuals. In fact, we may not necessarily agree with where they (especially elected officials) stand on certain policies, issues, direction. Yet, we respect them for the their position.
I’ve had players play for me that when I’m watching them, they work hard and strive to show me that they are worthy of more playing time. They work hard, sweat, hustle, etc. But when they think my back is turned and that I am not watching them (though I always am), they don’t work as hard, become sloppy and less interested in the drill we’re running or the play we’re learning.
I see the same kind of thing with adults as I walk around the agency, visit their department, just drop in just to see what’s going on.
Like I said, in my mind, reverence is deeper and stronger than respect.
It’s respect with honor.
It’s not only respecting the position, but respecting who they are and what they stand for.
Reverence may have less to do with position and more to do with the person... who they are... their sincerity... their faithfulness... what they do... how they do it... how they act and react... how they work as if working for the Lord.
As workers, as bondservants, as slaves, we are to work, do, live with a sincere heart and reverence to the Lord. We are, as some versions say, to have a reverent fear with sincerity of heart - fear as in awestruck fear.
We are to have reverence for the Lord because of who He is... because of what He has done... because He is God and we are not... because of His great love for us... because of His grace and mercy... because of the hope He gives... because of His holiness... because He is worthy of our praise and our reverence...
Again, because of who He is.
We say that respect in earned. That may be true. However, reverence is deeper and stronger than respect.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem.