“As To The Lord”
Colossians 3:22-25 contains the following instructions to Christian slaves, with a big principle that will help us in our interactions with others. “Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. 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. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” I want you to consider the power of the “as to the Lord” principle in how you interact with others.
1) Your conduct must not be based on others. There may be many times that you have the responsibility and the opportunity to do good to another person, but that person does not treat you well. Maybe it is your employer. Maybe it is a co-worker. Maybe it is a classmate. Maybe it is a neighbor. Maybe it is a relative. Maybe it is a spouse. Maybe it is even a brother or sister in Christ. Regardless, the Bible gives you the responsibility to do good to everyone as you have opportunity (Galatians 6:10). Still, it can be difficult to do good to someone who treats you poorly. Yet, Colossians 3:22-25 helps you recognize that your conduct is not based on how others treat you.
2) Your conduct must be as if you are doing the thing to the Lord. Regardless of the specifics of your situation, your focus in doing good to others must be to treat that person in the same way you would treat the Lord. So, your actions are not based on the merits of the sinful people you interact with and may have hurt you in the past. Instead, your actions toward others are based on the merits of Jesus Christ, who loved you enough to give His life on the cross so that you can be saved from the eternal consequences of your sin! Every way that you interact with others must be how you would treat and speak with such a loving Savior. Certainly, you would only want to act in a way that is loving toward such a one as He!
3) The Judgment Day scene. I want you to consider that this “as to the Lord” principle goes much further than the slave and master relationship by observing what Jesus taught in Matthew 25:31-46 about the Judgment Day. On this Day when Jesus Christ returns with all the holy angels with Him, all nations will be gathered before Him and He will separate them like a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats. Those on His right hand will be those who have been faithful to the Lord and will be rewarded with eternal life in Heaven. These, Jesus said are the ones who gave the hungry food, gave the thirsty drink, took in the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick, and came to the one in prison. Those on the left hand will be those who have not been faithful to the Lord, will be punished with eternal punishment in Hell, and did not do these things. But, the real power of the point is that Jesus indicates those who did all of the things for others did them to Him – and those who failed to do them failed to do them to Jesus!
Everything you do or do not do to someone else is the same as either doing or not doing a thing to Jesus Christ. Therefore, no matter what people have done to you in the past that can make it difficult to do good things to them, you must treat them as you would treat the Lord. For, one Day, your eternity will hang in the balance and, in part, be dependent on whether you have treated people in the same kind of loving way you would treat the Lord! So, make sure that you do everything “as to the Lord and not to men.”