A Bit About Work. . . .

Most of us will spend the majority of our waking hours, working.  I don't think churches have always addressed the workplace in a comprehensive way.  Some have rightly observed that sermons, groups, and church life can seem disconnected from what we spend most of our time doing. . . our job.   Now, there is a growing movement, . . much of it very good. . . . on integrating our faith and our work.  I'll put a helpful resource at the end of this post.  But, I'd like to offer a few thoughts, bullet-point style, on how Christians can think about work.

1)  God is working.  God has worked.  He is our pattern.  We image God as we work.  When we solve a problem, when we help someone, when we create something, when we care for someone. . when we move a situation from point A to point B. . . we are showing that we're created in the image of God.  That should encourage us!       

2)  When we "hate our job" it's important to remember that a) your job is a gift  b) you image God as you do it  and c) it's ok to look for another job.   All of those things are true at the same time.  Sometimes a lack of gratitude or awareness of our role as image bearers can cause us to sin in our attitudes at work, but sometimes an unhealthy sense of attachment can cause us to not want to look elsewhere.

3)  Our work is part of a fallen world and a "cursed" situation where there will always be toil in our labors.  A former boss once told me when I was having a bad attitude, "sometimes you gotta pay the rent".  This is true.  We don't need to over-spiritualize our work, or over do the "image bearing" aspect of things so that we can't deal with difficulties.  After Eden our work will be toilsome at times.  In Heaven it will not ever be toilsome!  If your work is hard, and you hate your job, it could potentially mean Jesus has not returned yet. (smiley face) 

4)  Church should absolutely feel different than our work. . .and perhaps even seem like we're entering a different world, or a different culture.  That's kind of the point.  We want to address workplace issues, and see what the Bible has to say.  But, our work at church should be joyful service, and God's house should be a place where we find a degree of "rest" from our labors, even if we're serving in Gospel ministry, or setting up chairs, etc. . . . Church is different and that's a good thing.  

5)  As stated above, your work is temporary, as is mine.  There won't need to be any preachers or guitar players in Heaven.  God's glory will be the light of the city and songs will resound day and night.  The work we have to do in Heaven and on the new earth will be perfect, effective (no broken staplers), helpful, loving, and exactly what God would have us to do, since we will have a new mind to do his will.  This mindset should give us humility and hope as we go to the office.  

I hope you can view your work as an image-bearer of God, . . . and I hope you can deal with the awful days as owing to a sinful, fallen world with fallen jobs.  Learn to lean into tasks with courage as an Image Bearer of the King, and learn to laugh at the toil, because one day we will all laugh, for joy, in the presence of our God.  

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18


Here's a link to the Gospel Coalition's Center for Faith and Work