The labor of the righteousness leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin.
For all of us, finding a good “fit” in our work has multiple benefits. When our responsibilities each day match our skills, personality, experience, and passion, incredible things can happen. That’s especially true for Christians who see their work, as an opportunity to honor God. As Solomon said this kind of work leads to life!
Can work really be a source of God‘s blessing? Yes, If we find the right fit and work to honor God, He unleashes His power in us and through us to accomplish great things and impact many people. In his insightful book The Call, Os Guinness defines our spiritual calling as “the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and every-thing we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service.”
At work, we can labor each day with integrity and enthusiasm because we know that what we do – and how we do – it really counts. Fulfillment at work spills over to our time with our families, Instead of being angry or drained when we walk through the door at the end of the day, we can be excited about what God is doing, and our joy can spread to our spouses and children. In the community, we can be known as people who treat others fairly and who have earned respect. In all areas of life, we can sense God‘s purpose and presence and delight in following Him.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, they were given the work of tending it.
So the Lord God took the man [He had made] and settled him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.
Even in Paradise there was work to be done for God knew that man needed something to occupy him and something to give him purpose. Sometimes we don’t consider all the things that sin brought. One of those things was that our work became labor by the sweat of our brow. Because of that we often shy away from work, we talk about it as something to dread and many count every week the number of days till it’s Friday.
When God gave us work, He wanted us to find the thing that we enjoy and that brings a sense of satisfaction to us. Those who find something they enjoy doing and can make a living doing it are truly blessed. This is not to say that there are never those moments of frustration since we live in a sin-cursed world, but on the whole it’s something we enjoy and something that fits us.
As Christians, we realize that God wants to coordinate our work with our ministry. Our first and true purpose is serving God and doing His work. That work is bringing people together with God. We give from the earnings of our work so that the work of God can be done on the earth through the church and it’s ministries. We make time to volunteer in the ministries of the church. But we can’t forget that most of the work of God occurs outside the church building. It occurs in the workplace as we glorify God through our work, our lifestyle and our attitudes. It occurs as we show care and love to our co-workers. It occurs through our prayers for them and our taking time to share our faith story. But our witness as Christians shines the brightest through our work ethic, our conduct and attitude on the job. That’s why it’s important to find your fit. There’s nothing more detrimental to our witness than being a difficult, complaining, unhappy employee.
After I became a Christian, one of the life-changing things was the moment I realized that my real boss was Christ. It changed my perspective about my work. First of all since Christ was my boss, I wanted my work to be my very best. Second, since He was my boss, He determined whether I got promotions or pay increases. Third since He was my boss, I could view my natural bosses as either one of God’s children or someone who needed to know Christ. As I chose to dedicate myself to these things, my work atmosphere began to change. From someone who was resentful when treated unfairly or not compensated at expected levels, I found that I could trust God to be my source. No matter what the company did, somehow God always took care of me.
One time I needed a job when we were between churches and had to make a way to pay the bills. I did the interview and was offered a job at much less than I thought I should have been offered. Sitting in the manager’s office, I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to take the job. Little did I know God’s plans. I went to work and it wasn’t long before I discovered that my skills were far beyond my coworkers who were making almost twice what I was making. Me and God had several conversations about this. But God was at work on me and for me. One day a piece of equipment went down and none of the other techs knew what to do. As I sat down and began to dismantle the machine, the manager came by, looked at me with horror and said, “John, what are you doing? You don’t know how to work on this.” I was able to tell him that in my previous jobs, this equipment and its issue was a common thing for me to do. He walked away shaking his head. I heard later that he even got on the phone trying to locate another machine because he had no confidence in my skills. I had a secret weapon-God. To get to the point, I got the machine going at its peak efficiency. From that moment God began to bring increase. First in monetary reward to almost twice what I started at to becoming the department manager. You may say that this is a wonderful story. But better than this, God allowed me to speak into many lives. I wound up receiving an invite to preach a Sunday morning service at a local church which turned into an invitation to become the pastor of that church.
I’ve though about this several times and have come to the conclusion that had I said the pay was beneath me or had I allowed myself to be resentful toward my coworkers or the boss, God couldn’t have used all this to bring me to where He had planned.
So, dear Christian, find where you fit, give it your best, trust God to be your source and who knows what you might experience. Never forget your mission for Christ far exceeds anything you might accomplish here on earth.
Dr. John Thompson