Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:17, 23–24)
Why would the Apostle Paul insist that the Christians at Colossae live their daily lives under such a comprehensive mandate of controlling every word and deed? In these two brief but rich letters Paul explores in detail both the theological rationale behind these two overlapping commands and the implications of this lifestyle in all of the primary relationships of life—with our spouses and families, and with our colleagues, employees, or bosses in the workplace.
The authorship of the letter to the Colossians has been questioned by a number of scholars, but because it is not the purpose of this commentary to address authorship, the letter’s self-attribution to Paul will be accepted here. This debate has a negligible effect on understanding the letter’s application to the workplace.