I’ve been reading a great book with a few guys and meeting weekly to discuss it. We finish it up this week. It’s called, Our Work Loves Our Neighbor. The contention in the book is that our Christian culture has bought into the lie that ministry is primary work, while our jobs are secondary. Here are just a few examples of statements that find their way into most pulpits.
“Every day you go to work you can redeem the time – you can be Jesus to people.”
“In your work, don’t just earn a living, demonstrate godliness.”
“If we could take the energy we expend in business and use it to advance the Kingdom, what a difference that would make.” (p. 17)
Do you see the implication? According to the lie, occupations have little value, except as people use them to witness. The authors of this book point out that Jesus spent the majority of his life as a laborer. He took pride in his work as a carpenter and used his gifts to provide furniture for others to enjoy.
Eccl 9:10 tells us, “Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” We are taught the truth through Scripture that our work, in and of itself, is valuable to God. As we go about our work week we are in God’s will as we put forth our best effort to carry out the work that brings goods and services to our world. Sure, we can utilize opportunities in our work week to represent Jesus, but that is not the only way that we honor God. We honor him by using our natural giftedness that he has given in business, service and commerce.
I had lunch with a good friend a few weeks ago that is in cabinet sales. He talked about how he really enjoys helping people design kitchens and bathrooms. He went on to share how he even like “cold calling.” Wow, that is a unique gift! It would be a shame for him not see his work as honoring to God and only see opportunities for witness as the true work. As we go about our work this week, may we praise God for the gifts he has given us to carry out our practical work.
Lie: The only work that is truly honoring to God is ministry
Truth: All work that provides beneficial goods and services to our world is godly work
“Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might.” (Eccl 9:10)