“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” – Proverbs 16:3
Perhaps every young man who has put on a baseball uniform has had a dream to become a major league baseball player. Who would not want to be in the limelight and make millions to boot. The road to the major leagues is a long and difficult one. It takes more hard work and determination than you can imagine. There is constant instruction designed to fix flaws or make what is good better. They have to constantly improve and work as hard as they can because somebody wants to take their place and is putting in the hard work and hours necessary to be better. To be the best, you have to push yourself. Remember there are only 750 major league baseball players in the United Sates.
As Christians, what should our view of work be? There are Christians who view it as the penalty of living in a fallen world. Others make a distinction between what they perceive as the sacred—serving God—and the secular—everything else. Rick Warren writes in The Purpose Driven Life: “Work becomes worship when you dedicate it to God and perform it with an awareness of His presence.”
Many people point to Christians as the reason they have a problem with Christianity. They believe we act one way in church and a completely different way outside the church. In some cases they may have a point. In some cases, it may just be an excuse. The way we live for God should permeate all areas of life. And the workplace is no exception.
There is one over-riding principle we can apply to all work and we find it in Colossians 3:23-24 “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.” This directive not only means that we should be working to the best of our abilities, because that is what God deserves.
And since our true boss is God, we should do the best we can and with integrity, knowing that our reward is from Him. John 19:11 tells us that, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above….” Since all authority on earth is God-given we should obey our superiors unless, of course, our boss tells us to do something that goes against scripture. And finally, all those we work with and for are valuable to God and as a result should be valuable to us.
Consider trying the following: imagine yourself as the boss and ask, “how would I like employees to work, even when I’m not watching them?”
Even when jobs or coworkers are hard to like, we are to work as though God is our boss. That means doing tasks with joy, a servant attitude, respect for others, diligence, and obedience to those in authority.
However hard we feel we have to work, it is vital we make time to rest, to spend time with God and with our family and friends. If we do not do this, we are in danger of pushing God into our “outboxes”.
- Is it difficult to separate the work you do in church and the work you do outside of church? Why?
- Does it matter whether you enjoy your job or not?
- Proverbs 12:11 “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” What does that mean to you?
- Pray and ask God to give you a view of work consistent with His.