Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Your Work is a Spiritual Calling

What difference does balancing the budget and reconciling your company's bank account actually make for God? Why should you greet each customer at your shop with courtesy when you have had a rough week? How does placing people in jobs really make a difference in the world today? How can creating web sites for other businesses actually affect the Kingdom of God? Have you ever asked questions like those? I have. For years I viewed work as a way to make money to pay bills (and the church - I mean God) to survive financially, to buy a few nice things and then to get to the really important work of church. I'm talking about attending services, teaching, serving, singing, praying, learning, socializing and putting together programs to help the church grow. Worshipping and spiritual stuff, that is what we are put on earth for right? Well, maybe that isn't all of the answer.  Maybe not even the majority of the answer.

The church must rethink the role of people's employment. For many years (decades?) the church has said, in so many words, that your jobs are really to provide your needs and allow you to be faithful and serve the church.  Enjoy your work, but really, we all know that your spiritual work is more important.  As I read my Bible, it says something very different to me.

"Slaves (read employees today), in all things obey those who are your masters (read employers or bosses) on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."  Colossians 3:22-24

Our work and the way we work is actually a spiritual act! It is a form of worship to Jesus as my ultimate boss. Paul teaches us in verses 24 that if we do our work with a full heart for the good of our boss and Jesus, that we will receive the reward of the inheritance. That sounds like your work is awfully important. Your work (job) is a spiritual act of worship towards God and a way to bless others that you work with.

Let's continue on to Colossians 4 and see what is said within the context of our daily work.

"Masters, (employers/bosses), grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you to have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving...Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace as though seasoned with salk, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." Colossians 4:1-2, 5-6

Here the context doesn't change from our place of work and how we are act.  We are to not only do our work with eagerness and joy because we are doing it for Jesus and it pleases Him, but there is more.  We are to also know that our time spent at work is one of the greatest opportunities there is to make an impact for Jesus.  At work, you have the opportunity to daily give out little samples of heaven (you can figure out what looks like :-).  These little tastes will for some, bring them to a desire to have a triple scoop cone and to come back regularly for more.  Some where along the way, you'll be able to introduce them to Jesus  and watch them be transformed by His grace and power. 

Seek Jesus' will for you at work, know that your work is essential to the Kingdom of God.  You are His ambassador, representing heaven and giving out free samples of heaven to those God places in your path.  Your work is spiritual and it is important.  Your work is a calling of God upon your life and that makes whatever you do spiritual.

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