Image by Stuart Miles

Image by Stuart Miles

By Dr. Harold Sala

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.  Ecclesiastes 9:10

The great athlete Bart Starr was once asked by a fan, “Who gave you the most valuable piece of advice?”  Undoubtedly the fan had in mind some noteworthy bit of counsel from a coach or another player that helped make Starr’s name a legend in football. But, nonplused, Starr responded, “My father gave me what I consider to be the best advice I ever received.  Here it is: ‘You should never be satisfied giving anything less than your best effort to something.  Anything worth doing is worth doing to the best of your ability.'”

I do not know whether he realized it or not, but Bart Starr’s dad gave his version of advice that came from the pen of ancient King Solomon 3,000 years ago.  Solomon had this advice to offer, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

For a moment, evaluate what you have been doing for the last thirty minutes.  Is it really your very best?  Are you really satisfied with it, or could you have done better?  Did you think that no one would know this time-like Rip Van Winkle of long ago but next time you would do better?

Paul of Tarsus was always a “ripintosomething-head-on” sort of a person.  Paul did things not to earn the praise of men but to glorify his Lord.  It is a different concept.  When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he reflected the spirit of Solomon’s advice when he said, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:23).  If you can apply this great principle to your life, your entire outlook can be transformed.

I am thinking of a mechanic who hated his work. He had wanted to go to college and earn a degree, but when his parents had financial problems, he dropped out of school and started working in a garage.  He married and never did get back to college.  As a result, he hated his work.  Every time he picked up a wrench and changed a sparkplug, he resented it.  Finally, Paul’s advice sank into his heart “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart….”  He came to the place where he would say, “All right, Lord, this one is for you.”  Then he would pick up his wrench and go to work.  He found that his efficiency increased significantly, and, furthermore, he actually began to like his work.  Eventually, he found himself the owner of the garage and a very prosperous businessman.

Settle one thing in your mind right now: financial reward is not sufficient motive to do this.  That was there from the beginning.  God’s Word says that a man ought to do his best because it is right and proper not just because he gets paid for it.  I again remind you of Paul’s words, “You will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

Do you remember the story of the workman in the cathedral that was designed by the great architect Sir Christopher Wren?  When Wren was visiting the cathedral, he asked the workmen, “What are you doing?”  One responded, “I’m cementing stones.” Another said, “I’m cutting rafters for the ceiling.”  But the reply that won the heart of the architect was one that came from a man working in a dark corner under the eaves.  “What are you doing?” asked Wren, and the workman called down, “I’m helping Sir Christopher Wren build a cathedral.”   Whatever you do, do it heartily to the Lord and not to men.  Remember, God, not man, will eventually reward you.

Resource reading: Colossians 3:15-17.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original title of this article was DO IT AS UNTO THE LORD