True or false: You are serving God more if you are a pastor or a missionary than if you are a plumber, homemaker, teacher, soldier, and so forth. False!
In Genesis 2:2, Exodus 20:9-11, and elsewhere we read that God ordained work and rest. They also remind us that He set the example both in working six days and in resting on the seventh day. Clearly, work is divinely established by God and is holy and not secular (Colossians 3:23). God intended work to tap into our creative selves, to be a source of provision for our family, to care for the world, and to be a place of community.
Here are five ways you can experience faith at work. Taking time to reflect upon the passages and questions provided will broaden your perspective of how God is at work in your workplace. (Write your responses on a separate piece of paper.)
Carrying Out Kingdom Purposes
Every job, every role, contributes to the Kingdom work God is doing in this world. At its root, the word “ministry” means “service.” Looking at a person’s whole life as belonging to God, work is for God’s glory, and the workplace is our place of ministry and service to Him and toward what He is doing in this world. Read 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 and Ephesians 2:8-10. How does Paul show us that work is our place of service?
Building Character and Faith
Your work is an opportunity to grow in Christ. For example, God uses hard work to cause us to depend on Him and to develop our character (Galatians 5:22-23). How we work and deal with adversity says a lot about who we are and is part of God’s refining process in our lives (Psalm 66:10). It is not simple or easy, and we might get in over our heads at times, be embarrassed, fail, lose sleep, and struggle, but being challenged is no reason to stop trying (Proverbs 18:9). In light of these statements and verses, what areas of your own character is God developing for His purpose in your workplace?
Reflecting the Kingdom Life
Whatever your work entails, Kingdom citizens work for Jesus. Knowing this prompts us to work with excellence, creativity, and a servant’s heart. Read Colossians 3:23-24 and consider what it says about our work ethic and the ultimate Boss you serve. As you live out this passage, how significant and satisfying can your work be? What kind of influence might this have?
Spurring Spiritual Conversations
There are some key traits that stand out as a witness for Christ. Your co-workers can respect you for your excellence, competence, and faithfulness. Diligent work no matter the task gets people’s attention! Excellence (not perfection) draws attention for good (Proverbs 24:30-34) and also reminds us the opposite is true; competence comes in using and developing your God-given skills and learning to trust others (Proverbs 22:29); and faithfulness is doing what you say you will do (Luke 16:10). How might developing excellence, competence, and faithfulness at work open the door for spiritual conversations with co-workers?
Meeting Practical Needs
One of the products of work is income, which enables you to pay bills, provide for needs, and save for the future. Income also allows the opportunity to be generous with tithes, offerings, and alms, especially in areas beyond one’s immediate circle of influence. (See Deuteronomy 8:17-18; Proverbs 30:8-9; and 1 Timothy 6:6-11 and 6:17-18.) In light of these verses, how might you allow God to change your thinking about how you use the resources He provides to you through your work?
Eric Liddell, British Olympic champion runner (Chariots of Fire) and missionary to China, put it this way: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” How Liddell stewarded his God-given gifts and skills is an example for us. As a Kingdom citizen who seeks first God’s Kingdom and righteousness in every aspect of life, prayerfully consider how He wants you to steward your gifts and skills. What practical step(s) might you take today toward better doing so—all to the glory