“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
Colossians 3:23-24

I love this verse. I’d love to say that I excel at applying it to my life, but that would be a lie. Oftentimes, I find myself doing things begrudgingly, reluctantly, or half-heartedly. I’m thankful that God remembers that we are all works in progress. His enduring patience and sense of humor must be as limitless as His love or He would have given up on me long ago.

I’m also realizing that “whatever” goes far beyond our daily work or career. To improve my heartiness levels, I need to open my eyes to areas where I can apply this verse daily. 

Here are a few ideas for living heartily to the Lord.

  1. Try heartily. Know that God is smiling when we turn our hearts to Him and the work He has prepared in advance for us to do. The image of my God smiling at me whether in a benevolent, patient, or amused way eases the pressure of feeling like I have to be perfect. As long as we’re trying, He’s smiling.
  2. Decide heartily. Making decisions is part of the work we do. Make a decision and move on. When we procrastinate we are delaying not only our ability to plan for the future, but also the planning ability of others involved. 
  3. Work heartily. Physical and mental exertion is healthy. Allow God to stretch you as you work with zeal at whatever He has called you to do. 
  4. Rest heartily. Rest is a necessary part of the renewal cycle. If you don’t rest, you won’t be able to apply yourself to the work you want and need to do. Rest is essential, don’t fall into the trap of believing that being a workaholic is a badge of honor. Take a break, honor the sabbath, and no cheating by checking your work email!
  5. Play heartily. Enjoy life, have fun, get out there and try something new. God created this big beautiful planet for us to explore. So go have an adventure!
  6. Love heartily. We are not called to be self-centered but God-centered. And God commands us to love Him above all else and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Show others how much God loves them by sharing in their trials, rejoicing in their successes, and helping in their times of need. 
  7. Praise heartily. Thank God for all He has done for you. Tell Him how grateful you are for each blessing and for His presence and comfort during the trials. Express your joy, your heartbreak, your confidence, your confusion, your excitement, and your fear. Praising God entails being honest and keeping the lines of communication open. Yes, you can praise God when you are hurting. You honor Him with your trust and vulnerability.

If we can remember to do whatever we do heartily as to the Lord, we’ll find a deeper relationship with our Creator. It is our great honor to serve Jesus Christ, it is our privilege to be called children of God. He leads us, sustains us, and loves us beyond measure.

May whatever we do spark our souls to live heartily for the Lord.