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Immerse: Messiah - Week 7, Day 34

If you're going to do something...

My father-in-law, Joe Mize, worked for Sysco Foods for more years than I can remember.  If I recall correctly, he started out as a route driver on a sales truck delivering food and supplies to restaurants and different customers.  Over the years, based on his performance and work ethic, he moved up the leadership ladder until eventually becoming one of the vice presidents at the Jacksonville hub of this same company. Most of his work in his later years revolved around sales training and staff development. Unlike many others who climbed the corporate ladder using any method or tactic – no matter how unethical or immoral they may be, Joe did it through hard work, integrity and something straight out of our reading from this week – excellence.

I remember a conversation I had with him early on in my years of being his son-in-law when he conveyed to me the importance of hard work. I don’t remember exactly what he said or how he said it but the message was pretty clear, “If you’re going to do something you might as well do it right and do it well.” In essence, if you are going to complete a task, whether it be as menial as taking out the trash (which requires you to tie the bag shut so it doesn’t spill all over the inside of your trash can) or as strenuous as finalizing a deal out with a prestigious nationwide restaurant to provide all their proteins and meats (that’s a story for another day), they should be looked at the same way and completed with excellence. What’s the point of doing something halfway? You know you didn’t do your best, more times than not those around you know you didn’t do your best and most certainly, the Lord knows your effort was a bit “lacking.” It may have been enough to get the task done, but was it done with excellence and did it bring glory to God? Was it done right? Was it done with integrity? If so, then whatever you did was worth doing!

In this week’s reading through the book of Colossians (Week 7, Day 34 – although personally, I could spend two weeks on this short letter alone!!!!), Paul writes to this young church trying to make its way in a world full of so many options. While trying to stay afloat, there was some conflict and confusion regarding the local religious practices (Roman Imperial cultic system) and Judaism and where they stood in relation to this new freedom and salvation found in Christ.  Paul recognized the struggle those in Colossae had in terms of knowing where to land. So, instead of focusing on Christ and letting all their motives and guidance come from Him, they had become lackadaisical and let some of the outward influences seep into the culture of the church. Nothing as drastic as what we read about in 1 & 2 Corinthians, but enough of a concern that Paul wanted to address it and “nip it in the bud.”

His final thoughts to them (beginning on page 213, Colossians 3:16-4:6) conclude with a beautiful series of short commands and instructions all seeming to revolve around living a life for Christ with excellence.  In fact, 3:17 says that very thing, “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” Now, read the rest of this passage with that thought in mind and look at the broad range of topics Paul covers all relating back to the daily lives of the believers in Colossae and doing so with excellence - wives, husbands, children, slaves, masters, prayer, thankfulness, evangelism, wisdom, grace, discernment and more.

In Paul’s genuine love and concern for his brothers and sisters in Christ, his urgent plea to them is as clear today to us as it was to those he first wrote to – if you’re going to do anything, you might as well do it right, do it with excellence and most of all, do it for the Lord.

May our marriages, our relationships, our careers, our education, our conduct, our hospitality, our interactions with our fellow man all be rooted in the truth of doing all things in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, because, “if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right and do it well.” Well said, Joe. And, well done!

- Pete Ramsey