And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17).
Compound words in the New Testament Greek are frequent; words made up of things like suffixes, prefixes and roots. But for the word whatever, there are actually four distinct Greek words in a row for that one word. And guess what they mean? Whatever. But there are other meanings for these four words: all things, any, anyone, anything, continually, every, everyone, everything, wherever, whenever, which, who and whoever. And these account for about ten percent of all the possible and very inclusive words you can use in place of whatever.
But when you look at these examples, you see the sweeping generalization, the overwhelming, the grandiose, the inclusive and maybe even exaggeration. However, the Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omni-present LORD God, is way beyond any sort of exaggeration.
So, the whatever not only speaks to the whatever you do, it also speaks to all, the anybody, the everybody doing whatever.
Now granted, Paul is speaking to believers. But for every believer he’s talking to—and to put it in the necessary magnitude—whatever we do in ALL our words, and ALL our deeds, we do them in the name of Jesus. This applies to both life and work.
Let that sink in a bit. Every word we speak, every work we do, is to be done in the name of the Lord Jesus. Wow. So, what does it mean to do anything—or something—in the name of Jesus? It’s like being an ambassador to a foreign country. You have been given authority to speak on behalf of your government to the officials of that land. But in the case of Jesus, as one of my mentors put it: You are speaking (or doing) exactly what Jesus would speak or do if He were literally standing next to you. No pressure. To do that, you need to know Jesus very well—what He would say, and what He would do.
Today’s One Thing
So, there’s your motivation: that whatever you do, whether in word or deed, it is all done in the name of the Lord Jesus. Now that can seem daunting but consider this. You’re at work, you’re doing something that you enjoy greatly, and you do it in the name of Jesus. OR you’re at work, doing something you don’t like, but you do it in the name of Jesus. What kind of testimony does that give to your coworkers? Because the joy doesn’t come in the work; the joy comes in doing the work for Jesus.
With that as your motivation, you can see how that will have a profound impact on your attitude, because it doesn’t matter what you’re doing. What matters is who you’re doing it for. And it’s not just doing, it’s also the words you speak. Now the workplace may be the last place that you can be openly evangelistic, but you can still let your light shine.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).