Honor God in everything you do
Especially when the task stretches your ability.
Honoring God in what comes easy is like emailing a birthday card. Glorifying God in the challenging, nearly impossible, distasteful chores is chasing the heart of God.
Most of the tasks I would do with ease now have become difficult and frustrating. My body aches from simple tasks: lifting materials, climbing ladders, carrying softener salt, and digging the earth.
23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.—Colossians 3:23-24
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.—1 Corinthians 10:31
Writing is difficult; my grammar is pitiful, and I thank God for spell checkers and grammar checkers every time I write. I enjoy writing, photography, and videography. Each is a long learning task and challenges me. I enjoy capturing a sunrise or sharing Your Good News on YouTube. Even the physical tasks lately hurt and come with pain and suffering offer a sense of satisfaction for a job completed. We choose the tasks we want to do, even though they may be difficult and unglamorous. So what effort would I never decide to make, then do it anyway to Honor God? Loving and forgiving someone who has brought pain and suffering into my life, an enemy, a hater of God and lovers of self, the greedy and poor hungry. Then I remember Jesus said as he was dying a criminal death on a Roman cross, “Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.”
At some time in our lives, everyone has been wronged by another. We have suffered hate, false claims, and persecution from others, people who seem impossible to like, much less love. Consider giving love to Hitler and Stalin, forgiving Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, or Dylan Klebold as they take your life.
In October 2006, Charlie Roberts walked into an Amish school in Lancaster County and shot ten young girls, killing five of them before killing himself. Some of the victims’ families attended Terri Robert’s son’s funeral. Seven years later, Charlie’s mother, Terri Roberts’ said, “There are no words to describe how that made us feel that day.” “For the mother and Father who had lost not just one but two daughters at our son’s hand, to come up and be the first ones to greet us — wow. Is there anything in this life that we should not forgive?”
I have heard you can love the person but despise the grievous act. I have also heard that forgiveness demands repentance. In the case of Charlie Roberts, his mother offered repentance—every Thursday, she cared for the most seriously wounded survivor of the shooting, who is now 23. Terri Roberts did not commit the act. Her son did. Naturally, she assumed responsibility and extreme remorse. I can only imagine how the Amish community’s love has changed her life forever.
In the gospel of Matthew chapter 5, verses 43 to 48, Jesus told us what we must do to honor God in what we do:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45th that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Forgiveness demands repentance, a change of heart, and walking from the hate that caused the initial pain. In Luke chapter 17, verse 3&4, Jesus said:
“If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. 4 Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive.”
Note Jesus said if there is repentance, forgive. In John 8:4-11 Jesus saved an accused adulterous woman from stoning to demonstrate we have all sinned and the need for repentance from those sins:
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
I am a sinner who has failed to forgive. A few come to mind, and I take this opportunity to forgive even if I do not know where the guilt should lie.
First, I forgive my Father for dying in a head-on car accident with an eighteen-wheeler, and I forgive the semi-truck driver. I do not know who is at fault for the accident because my Father worked long hours on the road and the Bondly men enjoyed libations, or if the truck driver was also tired and fell asleep—I forgive them both.
I had two sisters. One passed away feeling betrayed by her sister. She would have been better off forgiving her sister, but not the toxic behavior. Forgiveness is healing for the forgiver. When we forgive someone, it does not mean we must have them in our life unless they have repented from their toxic worldviews. I have forgiven both my sisters, but my family and I remain aloof to the sister still living—that saddens me. I am sure we all have some sadness and regret. No one should pass holding onto the sadness. I am not a Joseph who forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery:
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?” 16 So they approached[a] Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17 ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 Then his brothers also wept,[b] fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.–Genesis 50:15-21
What deeds and tasks will I do today to honor God? Everything—“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ”.—Colossians 3:23-24