Over the weekend, I was able to listen to Dr. David Platt from The Church at Brook Hills preach an amazing sermon called “The Cross and the Christian’s Work” on the meaning of work in the life of the believer (Listen here).
Several key passages were very meaningful to me, but two in particular that I wanted to share.
- Colossians 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Whatever your job may be, whatever position, occupation, or means of making an income you have, work it in such a way as to serve the Lord Jesus Christ as an act of worship. Everyday on the job, make it your mission to work as an act of devotion and honor to Christ, not to a man, a boss or even a company.
Certainly you are getting rewards in the form of a paycheck, benefits, vacation days, experience, and the like, but there are other rewards at stake – eternal rewards. Your eternal reward is an inheritance of eternal life though the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, which propels us to do our job “heartily” as unto Him, not satisfactorily to just get by.
Ask yourself this question: If Creator God was your direct supervisor at work, how would your annual evaluation be this year? Did you work heartily for Him? Did you worship Jesus by doing your job with excellence, diligence, competence, and integrity?
The second passage is comparable.
- 1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Our call to provide and care for our families, through the resources provided by our work, is an outward witness of our faith in Christ. By not providing for our families, the Apostle Paul equates a denial of the faith and being “worse” than an unbelieving person.
Dr. Platt was quick to point out that those suffering from chronic illness or debilitating disease are not commanded to work when their bodies simply won’t cooperate. Additionally, this is not a command for children, teens, or students preparing in school and college for their working careers. But for those who are able physically and mentally to work and hold the responsibility of provision for their families, there is a call to get up and go to work.
The job, task or the amount paid for the work is not a factor. We need to work and provide for our families because it holds up the witness and testimony of God’s saving grace in our lives.
I wrote these thoughts in my journal back in May 2013.
Why Does My Work Matter to God? What Does It Produces in Me?
- Work gives me a sense of individual purpose and direction. Not divine purpose and direction, but purpose and direction nonetheless.
- Work provides for our families needs and wants and gives me the ability to make financial investments in kingdom work.
- Work creates an opportunity for the spiritual discipline of stewardship to grow in me.
- Work creates an opportunity for spiritual gifts like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and definitely self-control (Gal. 5:22-23) to be birthed in me.
- Work builds in me a pattern of suffering, character, hope, endurance, and perseverance in good times and in bad (Romans 5:3-5).
- Work provides an opportunity for me to witness to unbelievers both verbally and visually (Matthew 5:16).
- Work teaches me how to be a life-long learner, a good steward of other people’s stuff, a manager of people & time, and to be a leader, trainer and equipper of future generations. All of these traits are be transferable to ministry within the local church.
- Work helps me learn to lean on God’s provision by using the talents, gifts, interests, passions, and skills He gave to me to be best used for His glory and great name.
I love my job, there is no question about it, but I know I am the rare breed. Most people dislike or barely tolerate the work they do.
But possibly if your perspective shifted so that you began to see your work as a gift from God, you might start to love it more. You might even be able to see God as the one you work for, not just a paycheck. I promise you, He is the best boss you’ll ever have.