It seems to me that most people today would view their job or schooling at best as something to be endured or at worst something that they strongly dislike. I know that there are a few exceptions with those that love their jobs, notice I said a few. It is no surprise that the famous country song “Take this Job and Shove It…” is the anthem of many working folks. This perspective on work presents an interesting challenge for the follower of Christ.
I think that most Christians would be inclined to believe that the Bible teaches that work was part of the consequences of Adam’s and Eve’s choice to disobey God. Part of the consequences for Adam were, “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:19). Yet what is often overlooked is that God had intended for Adam and Eve to work in the garden before the fall. We read, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) What this means is that what makes work is not the problem but sin. The challenges and difficulties of work can be traced back to sin.
So how do I make my job what God intended it to be? Well until Jesus permanently reverses the effects of sin our impact in the work place will be limited. There is one thing that we can do to redeem our workplace. It is to decide to work for Jesus. This conscious decision will change your attitude about work; transforming you and impacting those around you. Most people never stop to consider that when they work for themselves, or the benefits that they derive they are robbing themselves of at least five blessing of working for Jesus.
First, when we work for Jesus it causes us to look at our job from God’s perspective. It not only causes me to want to do my best, but it allows me to be a testimony to other Christians. Paul’s words to Timothy about work remind us, “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.” (Titus 2:10b). This simply states that when we bring our Biblical values to work we make the teachings on Jesus attractive.
Second, when I decided to work for Jesus I silence my critics. The Bible reminds us, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:15) When I work for Jesus I do what is best regardless of the circumstances, and when I do, I am a testimony to those that are against me.
Third, when I work for Jesus, instead of my earthly boss, I am strengthened during those difficult times. Peter reminds us, “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.” (1 Peter 2:18) It is easy to put up with the difficult stuff when your boss (Jesus) is worthy of your sacrifice.
Fourth, when I work for Jesus I have a place to take my struggles. We read, “For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3:25) Speaking of working relationships Paul makes the point that Jesus will deal with any wrongs done. This means you can leave the struggle with Jesus and know that He will settle the score.
And last, when I do my job for Jesus I am investing in my reward in heaven. “knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.” (Colossians 3:24) So the question you need to ask yourself is, “So who am I working for?” Let me encourage you to work for Jesus, the benefits are out of this world!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson