And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; -Col.3:23- (KJV)
Most translations have chosen, here, the same as has the KJV, to translate ek psuche, "heartily" (i.e. "from the heart"). But it is interesting that in Greek, it says "from the soul" (see also: Ephesians 6:6). Both concepts may be closely related, they are not identical (Mark 12:30).
In the Bible, the soul stands for our whole "being". Soul is often translated with "life" and also, quite regularly, with "being". The idea of "soul" is always with respect to our whole "being". In the Bible we do not have a soul, but we are a soul (Gen.2:7). We have a body.
In Col.3:23, Paul encourages the slaves to do their work "from the soul", that is, with a total commitment. It is noteworthy that Paul in the previous verse (Col.3:22) did write about "the heart". It literally says there, "…with singleness of heart, fearing the Lord."
A significant difference! It is wonderful when we do our work with 100% commitment. That is, we do it "from the soul", regardless of whether we like our work or not. But everyone knows that it is not good when our work is uppermost in our heart. This becomes evident when we can't leave our work in the workshop, or even when it keeps us awake at night.
Our heart is to be focused on ONE, only. Hence: "with simplicity of heart". It is to go out to the One, Who is worthy to be kept in mind always, as well as to be given thanks, continually
Translation: Peter Feddema