And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. ~ Colossians 3:17
Whatever. It’s a dismissive word when used as a response to correction. Teenagers are famous for saying it. In this context, however, especially since it follows the word “and,” we need to refer to the previous verse.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. ~ Colossians 3:16
Ah. So then we know what proceeds Paul’s advice to the church – the richly dwelling word of God and singing that naturally overflows.
We could replace the word “and” with “so.”
“singing with grace to the Lord so whatever you do…”
Since, you’ve allowed the Word to take up your thoughts and change how you talk with one another, also allow this to effect whatever else you do.
Whatever You Do
This is my favorite down-to-earth verse because it helps me as an employee. Many people believe that “the ministry” is when you’re paid by the church as a full-time job (been there, done that). That makes it very easy to serve the Lord in whatever you’re doing. It’s like asking you to be happy in Disneyland.
Now, get a secular job around a bunch of non-Christians who tease you (or worse) for being a Christian and try to respond to them in a way that pleases Christ. When you get extra work on your desk, without a pay increase, do you respond as Christ would?
This is trickier. This is where the “rubber meets the road” as J. Vernon McGee would say. Don’t be a man-pleaser, be a God-pleaser.
Word or Deed
“Actions speak louder than words” is a common saying. And in many ways it is true. But words also speak. Words matter and actions matter. They should be in line with one another. Don’t promise something you can’t fulfill. Don’t do something contrary to your words.
“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” Colossians 4:6
In the Name of Jesus
When we call ourselves Christians we take on the name of Jesus. And, so, as His representatives or ambassadors, we show the world who He is. Being faithful to His will and wishes is how we accurately represent Him. It’s that simple.
The act of thanksgiving, of dwelling in gratitude, is one of the most perspective-shifting activities we could ever enter into. Giving thanks to the proper person is also key. We need to be thankful to The Father, through Jesus.
Being thankful helps you realize who you are in relationship to God. It helps us realize what we’ve been given instead of what we think is due.
Being thankful, having the richness of the Word dwell in you, super-naturally produces these desired results. It’s up to us to meditate on the Word and allow that to affect our lives Monday through Saturday, not just Sunday.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Questions for Further Thought:
- What is your impression of this passage?
- Have you done a word study? How did it change your perspective?
- Further Study: I encourage you to look up the following verses from which the text is based.
- Colossians 4:6
- Matthew 5:37
- James 5:12
- Ephesians 6:5-8
- 2 Corinthians 5:20
- Colossians 3:15
- Ephesians 6:20