Do Your Work Reverently
Do your work reverently to please the Audience of One. In other words, endeavor to please God first. In the Greek, the phrase “not only when their eye is on you” is summed up by a word that literally means “eye-slave.” Don’t be the slave of your boss’ eye and only seek to be pleasing when the supervisor is watching. (The next phrase “to curry their favor” is formed from a Greek word that literally translates “people-pleaser.”)
So let’s be clear. Paul is not opposed to pleasing the boss. What he is opposed to is disingenuous attempts to please the boss. Instead, we are to work with sincere hearts in reverence to the Lord. The ancient church used a Latin phrase to describe this life: coram Deo (“face of God”). This encompasses the idea that everything we do as Christians is to please the Audience of One. Whether you are swinging a hammer, preparing a lecture, managing a department, cleaning a house, creating music, drawing plans, caring for a client, writing a report, generating financials, painting a house, or one of the millions of other little acts that make life move forward for all of us, do your work before the face of God.
“Living before the Audience of One transforms all our endeavors.”
- Os Guinness, The Call
God sees everything you do, including the things no one else sees. When you work late, when you finish a project alone, when you act with grace in a difficult situation. And when you work well—“with all your heart”—he sees and is pleased with you.