“Work” is a powerful force in life. Most people spend a third of their lives (at least eight hours a day) on the job. And LinkedIn reminds us that our jobs become our identities.
“I’m Gary, and I’m a pastor.”
“I’m Samantha, and I’m an accountant.”
“I’m Nick, and I train Clydesdale horses.” (See you Sunday, Nick!)
Some people work out of a deep passion, like the math teacher who loves to sharpen and equip young minds for action. Others work with urgency to provide for their families. Some are driven to impact the lives of others – like the first responders, firefighters, emergency medical teams, and law enforcement officials that deserve our prayers and love on Sept. 11 — and every other day.
No matter what your job or passion is, I believe your work matters.
In the Bible, we find that God is always “at work.” He’s not just the “Boss”; He creates, designs, teaches, provides, sustains, judges, redeems, heals, directs, disciplines. … God is the ultimate “worker.”
God gives life and meaning to the way people work. In Genesis, he assigns man and woman the task of ruling, gardening, farming and populating the earth. In the Old Testament, God is at work in the lives of shepherds, musicians, craftsmen, teachers, stay-at-home moms, leaders, servants, students and warriors.
As one historian observed, “The Bible is a book written by a Worker, through and to human workers, about and for their works.” Or, as Ephesians 2:10 describes, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”
Your work matters to God. Whether your boss loves you or not. Whether you like your co-workers or not. Whether you’re facing job loss or a job change. Whether you feel totally defeated or totally fulfilled.
Your work matters to God. God created you in His image. He’s given you specific passions, abilities, opportunities, education and experiences to prepare you for good works. Deep down, our hearts long to find some fulfillment in our work.
Colossians 3:23-24 unveils God’s perspective on our work, saying: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
In other words, your work matters to God.
Because it matters to God, we can talk to Him anytime about work, stress and our challenges on the job. God already knows the details, but created us for friendship with Him through prayer.
Because it matters to God, we can find direction, encouragement and advice for any and every situation. The Bible is full of wisdom, even “case studies” about the struggles of our jobs and careers. Download a Bible app and start reading Proverbs for “on-the-job training.”
Because it matters to God, Jesus is our role model and mentor. God’s Son focused on the work God had given Him. Jesus followed the plan God had given Him – even to a cross of suffering and shame – to finish the work of God’s salvation for all who would believe. Because of the finished work of Christ, believers need not work to gain favor with God, but are freed to work, expressing our love for God.
Whatever you do … or wherever you work … don’t miss the adventure of trusting God and finding His power and His pleasure in your life. He cares deeply about your life, your work and your career.
Gary Underwood is lead pastor at Delaware Grace, 375 Hills-Miller Road.