Colossians 3:23
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

New Living Translation
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

English Standard Version
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

New American Standard Bible
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,

King James Bible
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men,

International Standard Version
Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people.

NET Bible
Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And do all that you do with all your soul, as for Our Lord, and not as for the children of men.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as though you were working for your real master and not merely for humans.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And whatever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men,

King James 2000 Bible
And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

American King James Version
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;

American Standard Version
whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Whatsoever you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord, and not to men:

Darby Bible Translation
Whatsoever ye do, labour at it heartily, as [doing it] to the Lord, and not to men;

English Revised Version
whatsoever ye do, work heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men;

Webster's Bible Translation
And whatever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;

Weymouth New Testament
Whatever you are doing, let your hearts be in your work, as a thing done for the Lord and not for men.

World English Bible
And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men,

Young's Literal Translation
and all, whatever ye may do -- out of soul work -- as to the Lord, and not to men,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:18-25 The epistles most taken up in displaying the glory of the Divine grace, and magnifying the Lord Jesus, are the most particular in pressing the duties of the Christian life. We must never separate the privileges and duties of the gospel. Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to a severe lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who is engaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wives with tender and faithful affection. Dutiful children are the most likely to prosper. And parents must be tender, as well as children obedient. Servants are to do their duty, and obey their masters' commands, in all things consistent with duty to God their heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent; without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those who fear God, will be just and faithful when from under their master's eye, because they know they are under the eye of God. And do all with diligence, not idly and slothfully; cheerfully, not discontented at the providence of God which put them in that relation. And for servants' encouragement, let them know, that in serving their masters according to the command of Christ, they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward at last. But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, as well as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masters wrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth will deal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon a level at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make the world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of things, and every relation of life! But the profession of those persons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause for complaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves, as well as brings reproach on the gospel.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 23. - Whatever ye be doing, work (therein) from (the) soul, as to the Lord, and not to men (ver. 17; Ephesians 6:6, 7; 1 Corinthians 7:21-23). (On the first clause, see ver. 17.) In the Revised Text, however, the turn of expression differs from that of ver. 17, πᾶν being cancelled. The writer is thinking, not so much of the variety of service possible, as of the spirit which should pervade it. "Do" is replaced in the second clause by the more energetic "work," opposed to indolent or useless doing (comp. Ephesians 4:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; John 5:17; John 9:4). "From [ἐκ, out of] the soul "indicates the spring of their exertions - inward principle, not outward compulsion; the servant must put his soul into his work. "Soul" implies, even more than "heart," the engagement of the man's best individual powers (comp. Philippians 1:27, as well as Ephesians 6:6). The slaves' daily taskwork is to be done, not only in sight and in fear of the Lord (ver. 22 b; Ephesians 5:21), but as actually "to the Lord." Him they are serving (ver. 24 b), who alone is "the Lord" (Colossians 2:6); every mean and hard task is dignified and sweetened by the thought of being done for him, and the commonest work must be done with the zeal and thoroughness that his service demands (comp. Ephesians 6:7, "with good will doing bond service"). The word "not" (οὐ instead of μὴ) implies that their service is actually rendered to One other and higher than "men" (1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 1:10).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And whatsoever ye do,.... Some have thought that these words, and the two following verses, regard the Colossians in general, and the performance of any, and all good works by them; but by their connection with the preceding verse, and with the beginning of the next chapter, they appear to concern servants only, and what they do under that character, and under the discharge of their duty:

do it heartily, not by mere force and necessity, grudgingly, and with murmurings, but from the heart, and with good will, having a true, real, and hearty affection for their masters, having their good and interest at heart, and a delight in their service; like the Hebrew servant, that loved his master, as also his wife and children, and therefore would not depart from him, see Exodus 21:5,

as to the Lord, and not unto men; See Gill on Ephesians 6:7.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

23. And—omitted in the oldest manuscripts (compare Eph 6:7, 8). Compare the same principle in the case of all men, Hezekiah (2Ch 31:21; Ro 12:11).

do, do it—two distinct Greek verbs, "Whatsoever ye do, work at it" (or "labor at" it).

heartily—not from servile constraint, but with hearty good will.

Colossians 3:23 Additional Commentaries
Context
Christian Households
22Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.…
Cross References
Ecclesiastes 9:10
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Ephesians 6:7
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,
Treasury of Scripture

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men;

whatsoever. See on ver.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord …

2 Chronicles 31:21 And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, …

Psalm 47:6,7 Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises to our King, sing praises…

Psalm 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Psalm 119:10,34,145 With my whole heart have I sought you: O let me not wander from your …

Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there …

Jeremiah 3:10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned …

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through …

as.

Zechariah 7:5-7 Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, …

Matthew 6:16 Moreover when you fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: …

Romans 14:6,8 He that regards the day, regards it to the Lord; and he that regards …

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Ephesians 6:6,7 Not with eye-service, as men pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, …

1 Peter 2:13,15 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: …

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