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Colossians 3:23—“Whatever You Do, Work At It With All Your Heart”

Colossians 3:23—“Whatever You Do, Work At It With All Your Heart”

 “Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as for Jehovah, and not for men.”—Colossians 3:23, New World Translation.

 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”—Colossians 3:23, New International Version.

Meaning of Colossians 3:23

 A Christian should strive to be a hard worker because his attitude toward work is linked to his worship of Jehovah God.

 “Whatever you are doing.” Those who want to worship Jehovah try to follow what the Bible says in all that they do. They strive to be industrious, honest, and trustworthy in their daily activities at home, at work, and at school.—Proverbs 11:13; Romans 12:11; Hebrews 13:18.

 “Work at it with all your heart.” The expression “with all your heart” is translated from a Greek expression that “describes a person’s commitment in acting or fulfilling God’s will with his entire vital energy.” a

 Thus, such a worker uses all his physical and mental abilities to do his best when caring for a task. Other Bible translations render the expression “wholeheartedly” (New Catholic Bible) or “heartily” (King James Version).—See “ Colossians 3:23 From Additional Translations.”

 “For Jehovah, and not for men.” No matter what work they are doing, Christians take it seriously because they recognize that their relationship with Jehovah God is involved. They are primarily interested in pleasing him, not an employer or another human. A Christian’s excellent work ethic and positive attitude reflect well not only on him but also on the God he worships. In this way, a Christian does what he can “so that the name of God . . . may never be spoken of injuriously.”—1 Timothy 6:1; Colossians 3:22.

Context of Colossians 3:23

 The Bible book of Colossians was written by the apostle Paul to Christians in the ancient city of Colossae. b He apparently wrote it toward the end of his first imprisonment in Rome, about 60-61 C.E.

 Colossians contains counsel to help Christians of all backgrounds and circumstances to worship God in unity. (Colossians 3:11) It encourages them to reflect God’s qualities, such as love, kindness, and mercy. (Colossians 3:12-14) It also explains how worship of God should affect every aspect of a person’s life.—Colossians 3:18–4:1.

 Colossians 3:23 From Additional Translations

 “Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, as if you were doing it for the Lord and not for others.”—New Catholic Bible.

 “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”—King James Version.

 “Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.”—The Amplified Study Bible, brackets theirs.

 “Whatever your task is, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for the Lord and not merely for men.”—The New Testament in Modern English, by J. B. Phillips.

 Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Colossians.

a From the Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 1993, Volume 3, page 502.

b Located in what is modern-day Turkey.