Are you counting down the hours until the weekend? Perhaps you just aren’t seeing how your work is significant to God’s call on your life right now. Or maybe you love what you do, but just need some encouragement in what you are doing.
Here are some of our favorite thoughts about work–and why it is important in God’s kingdom.
1. John Calvin reminds us that it isn’t just the glamorous jobs that have eternal value:
There is no work, however vile or sordid, that does not glisten before God.
2. Why does God care about our day jobs so much?
Abraham Kuyper explains,
Whatever man may stand, whatever he may do, to whatever he may apply his hand—in agriculture, in commerce, and in industry, or his mind, in the world of art, and science—he is, in whatsoever it may be, constantly standing before the face of God. He is employed in the service of his God. He has strictly to obey his God. And above all, he has to aim at the glory of his God.
3. Part of being made in God’s image is imitating him as the creator.
Dorothy Sayers says that work…
….should, in fact, be thought of as a creative activity undertaken for the love of the work itself; and that man, made in God’s image, should make things, as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing.
4. This creative process is an important way of serving others and cultivating creation by doing what you do best.
Tim Keller says,
Work is taking the raw material of creation and developing it for the sake of others.
5. But how can our efforts change the world?
Can we as individuals really redeem cultures and serve others on a macro-level? Richard Doster helps us to keep the big picture in mind.
God’s people can, as agents of His redemptive plan, transform business, stripping it of selfish ambition and pursuing instead what’s best for their neighbors. Through business God’s people can harness mankind’s creativity, and with it nurture His creation, developing products that make the world more satisfying.
Through the economic power of commerce, Christians can make the world safer and healthier. The members of Christ’s Church, distributed in offices around the world, can transform greed into good stewardship, showing the world that business has a biblical responsibility to create new wealth and provide a fair return to investors.
6. But what are we producing? Thomas Aquinas reminds us:
The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.
7. While the Lord will provide for our needs, he still calls to work as hard as we can.
Saint Augustine explains:
Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.
8. According to Henry Ward Beecher, work isn’t always fun or easy; it’s during those times that our true character shows.
Any man can work when every stroke of his hands brings down the fruit rattling from the tree but to labor in season and out of season, under every discouragement…that requires a heroism which is transcendent.
9. But sometimes, even the most heroic acts don’t produce the results we were intending.
C.S. Lewis reminds us to accept and learn from our mistakes when he says,
Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
10. But even as we strive to become successful, we can experience biblical contentment.
Hugh Whelchel clarifies that,
Real contentment is not being satisfied with what you have or where you are in life. It is working diligently to glorify God, serve the common good, and further the kingdom of God in everything we do.
We hope these insights on faith and work are encouraging and inspire you to look at your work as a way to serve others, restore creation, and bring about God’s kingdom.
Editor’s Note: On “Flashback Friday,” we take a look at some of IFWE’s former posts that are worth revisiting. This post was previously published on May 9, 2014.
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