Week of Monday, October 4 ­– Sunday, October 10
Excellence – Man as a Provider
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 3:23-24 ESV
Excellence is tough to maintain in some jobs. Let’s be honest, we have all probably had at least one job that was not enjoyable to say the least. A job where we didn’t feel like our employer, coworkers, or customers deserved our best work. Some days, it may have even been all three! What do you do in those situations? 
Does the job title matter when it comes to excellence? Let’s say you’re a restaurant manager. Is it less important for you to give your best than if you were a heart surgeon? Is it more important for a military leader to give his best than for an accountant to give his? No matter the job title, we all know what it’s like to be tempted to do the bare minimum, to “just get by,” to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Of course, the consequences of not doing your best vary depending on the work you do. But Colossians 3:22-24 reminds us that no matter what you do, how you do it matters. That’s especially true for us as Providers because we are setting an example.
Finding the right motivation is essential, then, if we want to consistently point those in our charge to a higher calling than just seeing us endure the daily grind as a Provider. Otherwise, what we don’t feel like doing, we won’t do, or we won’t do well, and our family and friends will see it and may duplicate it or develop a critical view of us and our work ethic. The fact is, the actions of other people ultimately serve as a terrible motivator for excellence. That’s because people are going to let you down. They’re going to give half-effort. They’re not always going to appreciate your efforts. Monetary gain and worldly success are terrible motivators, too. They might work for a while, but they won’t sustain you when no one is looking. They certainly won’t keep you going when you don’t get the promotion or the raise you were working for. 
There is only one motivation that compels us to always work with excellence and give our very best in all aspects of life, and that is the Lord Jesus Himself. At the end of the day, as Paul puts it: “You are serving the Lord Christ.” So, we need to look beyond the task, the supervisor, and the people to the real person we are serving. That’s why we must give our best to other people on the job because, in doing so, we give our best to the Lord. This means there are no meaningless tasks, nothing we do that doesn’t matter to God. 
It also means we can’t impress God with outer excellence; the kind of excellence God is looking for comes from the heart. We seek to be excellent in everything we do, not so the world will think we’re all that great but so they will know the greatness of the God we serve. As Providers, setting that standard of excellence and doing it from the heart will point others to the One we ultimately serve: “the Lord Christ.” Men, that is the mission, and it begins with excellence.
  • How does the phrase “to the glory of God” in 1 Corinthians 10:31 help you understand what it means to do whatever you do “as for the Lord and not for men”?
  • What are some things you do to provide for your family beyond bringing home a paycheck? How does the way you work and the example you set provide for your family in a way that wealth and possessions cannot?
  • Thank God for the work He gives you in this world, and that, in Christ, nothing you do is ever meaningless. Invite Him to give you the strength and wisdom to work with excellence in everything you do for His glory.