3 THINGS ABOUT WORK THAT CHRISTIANS FORGET
Today, you may have woken up early to get a head start, travel to work and thought about your schedule for the day and deadlines you need to meet. At some point in your commute, you ponder, “Is it all worth it?” or “does my work really count for something?”
We all go through struggles at work whether you are an employee in a start-up or the top business executive, or even just working your way through college. In our very thoughts lies the ever-nagging question of significance and purpose.
Perhaps it is at this point that we should ask the question:
What is work to you?
In Genesis 2:15, work was given by God unto Adam to cultivate and keep the Garden of Eden. Note that this all occurred at the beginning, before the fall of sin. Did you notice that God had given work unto man for man to be a steward over God’s creation?
It was only after the fall, with man’s disobedience, that work became toilsome labor and a curse to which man had to live through all of his life.
Now that we are living in the new covenant age, Jesus redeems sinners through His finished work on the cross by dying for the sins of the world and by resurrecting to signify that we can indeed have life in Him—and that includes our work. Jesus has the power to redeem (or to make something good out of) our work and He does this through the following points:
- Work as a blessing
“You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.”
Through our work, we gain the necessary livelihood we need to be able to live out of the fruit of our labors. Blessings and prosperity naturally come when we follow God’s ways and turn to His wisdom in dealing with our work. Proverbs 14:23 states, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.”
- Work as witness
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
Our work is even a matter of our own Christian witness onto the world. How we act and talk signals to the world what Christ does in us, how Christ is changing us, and who Christ is to our lives. Those who go for the extra-mile, excellence, and extraordinary work show that Christ is indeed redeeming their lives and that their good work is a result of that.
Compare it to the people who would rather just fulfill the minimal requirement to pass, or the ho-hum results, every Christian is called to do the work for God’s glory as 1 Corinthians 10:31 states, “whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
- Work as worship
When Christians are asked why they work, they usually reply that it is for their livelihood, to gain a good career, to support their families, and to be able to provide for their own. These are all good as part of the fruits of labor but do we consider who it is we are actually working for?
“22 You who are servants who are owned by someone, obey your owners. Work hard for them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Work for them as you would for the Lord because you honor God. 23 Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. 24 Remember that you will get your reward from the Lord. He will give you what you should receive. You are working for the Lord Christ.”
The passage above tells us that we work hard not just when people are watching but we work because we want to honor God. It further reminds us that the actual work we do is not for ourselves, not for others, and not even for our employers—it is for God Himself.
Ask yourself, who am I really serving with my work? Who am I trying to please? We are to do our work as worship unto God, it is the Lord Jesus we are working for.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
Usually, the Christian will forget about the purpose of the work because the things like money, career, and significance crowd in. This is not to say that these things are bad, but the main point is what God wants to fulfill in our work. This verse actually reverses our mindset: we are to seek God’s Kingdom first and foremost and it is only then that everything else will follow.
Are you working with a Kingdom mindset? Do you know that when you seek God—His Kingdom, His righteousness, His purposes, that all of these other things, the stuff that you need, will actually be provided for?
This is a promise for us to hold even when we are questioning our work. It is good to know that our work is a blessing from God, our witness unto others, and our act of worship unto God with a promise from God. Work unto the Lord today.
Writer’s Bio: Mike Yap is first and foremost a slave of the Lord Jesus—redeemed as a wretched sinner by grace—and called as a wordsmith, speaker, visionary, and creativist for His Church. You may follow more of his blog at http://thetub-thumper.blogspot.com