I hated my first job.
After wearing several layers of t-shirts and long sleeves, I would put on my fat winter jacket and finally a ski mask to cover my face from the harsh cold weather.
My shift would start in the early afternoon and end close to midnight.
All throughout, I was asked to stay outside and direct traffic in and out of the stadium.
I was a parker/ traffic director.
Whether it was -40°C, pouring rain or thunderstorm. You’re outside for at least 6 hours and I dreaded it.
I needed to buy a laptop before starting University…so I stuck it out lol.
Once it was purchased and first semester begun, I quit within a week.
Despite the discomfort of my job, the end justified the means.
Now this seems like a good story-line; going through the grind of work in order to “eat”.
Even as Christians we often adopt this attitude.
Working hard in order to earn enough money to supply needs and offer onto God & His people.
In fact, this is a good thing and it brings glory to God!
Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce
Proverbs 3:9 ESV
Many of us simply stop here.
We only see our jobs as a means to end or a “stepping stone” to a greater job.
God’s intention is not only that we speak of Him at work, and treat our coworkers in a Christ like manner (although both are true).
He also wants us to glorify Him IN the work that we do.
There is no action that we do on earth that should be outside the “bubble” of God.
This includes our day to day jobs. Soshould we approach this?
1. Does Your Work glorify God?
Before getting too deep, let’s deal with the basics.
The bible says:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
Let’s use an obvious example.
Having a profession as a stripper or a pimp does not glorify God because we sin in the process.
Now I assume (or hope) that none of us are pursuing neither of these professions.
However, regardless of what you’re profession is or what you hope your profession would be, consider this question.
Does your work glorify God? Or can it be used to glorified God?
What does your company do?
What’s its purpose?
What’s its vision statement?
Will God approve of this?
Becoming a full time minister in the church is truly an honourable task.. however you don’t need a “church” profession to be glorifying God.
There is more than enough scripture to discern what brings glory to God and what brings him shame.
Before going through the cycles of working, understand exactly what your workplace does.
In other words, do your homework :D, before blindly accepting any job.
2. Do it for God
This may sound like a reiteration of my first point.
But it’s not, and I’ll tell you why.
It’s possible for us to serve in the church with a motive that’s directly opposed to God.
Pride, attention, greed…
I can be working in a Godly profession, without glorifying God.
Or as my mentor once said
“God can fire you, but still keep you on the job ”
22 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
This verse is pretty self explanatory.
Don’t simply work your butt-off as a means to show off your effort as people-pleasers just to get to your next level.
Do everything as if you are presenting it to God. The word heartily is similar to words like wholeheartedly, sincerely, warmly and genuinely.
Simply put, if I was asked to prepare a meal for my biological brother, naturally, there wouldn’t be too much pressure to ensure it was perfect.
However if I was asked to prepare a meal for the President or *insert person you most admire on earth here*, I would approach it with more effort and heart.
In the same way, the “minor”/ “annoying” tasks we often complain about are all a means to serve the Lord every single day.
See God in the midst of your work and be diligent as if He was the one you are reporting to.
Whether that be leading a team meeting, working the cash at a fast food restaurant or teaching a group of stubborn children, understand that God IS interested in your work.
Confuse your co-workers in how consistently diligent you are, until they ask you the reason for your drive, in which you can answer:
Serving my Lord
Let this scripture (Colossians 3:22-24) inspire you to be the hardest worker in every place He places you.
However this passage only holds merit to those who genuinely have a love and desire for God (click here to see a blog on this topic).
*Note: For those of you who may assume this scripture (Colossians 3:22-24) is in any way promoting slavery, please read this*
3. Be Lovers of Service not Money
33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ –
Acts 20:33-35 ESV
In this passage, Apostle Paul – who was also a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3) – is speaking to the Ephesian elders, urging them to follow his example.
This was essentially his message:
Work hard to help the weak, or those in need. It’s always better to give than to receive
Ask yourself, who am I serving in the workplace?
Or a more direct question, who are my customers?
Hungry people? People who need clothes? Financial services?
Your workplace should be correlated in a manner of serving others, and putting their needs before your own.
However, notice that Paul emphasizes on the fact that he never coveted (yearned to posses) any gold or silver, BUT in the same breath he states that “these hand ministered to my necessities..”.
This a crucial statement.
Paul understood (like many of us) that he had needs of his own (which needed to be met), yet he never DESIRED gold or silver.
He trusted God to meet his needs.
In the same way, we should understand that it is God who supplies all our needs, whether or not He uses our work as a meas to do so. Consider this passage:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 ESV
There is no need for us to be anxious about our needs if we are children of God.
Focus on serving people, God will take care of you.
Also consider these additional scriptures which discuss the importance of working to supply your needs whiles not desiring wealth at the same time (please read em!!):
If we’re being honest, many of us will spend majority of our lives working.
I mean that’s why we go to school right?
Whether that be in a 9-5, personal business, CEO, etc.
Therefore, don’t assume a time for “work” and a time for “God”.
Make the most of every hour in every day, and honour God in your profession,
Soli Deo Gloria