We were made to workJune 7, 2016
With summer time comes the opportunity for many of us to take a vacation. Time away to rest and spend time as a family is important. We just returned from some wonderful friend and family time away.
I’ll admit that sitting on the porch, listening to the birds, and allowing the hours to simply pass made me wish it would never end. Why can’t we just be on vacation all the time? If we allow ourselves to think this way, work can begin to seem like the enemy. The thief of joy and freedom. The perspective is tempting– but it’s not God’s perspective.
[tweetthis]Ever long to be on vacation all the time? If work feels like an evil master to you then it’s time to rethink work.[/tweetthis]
If work feels like an evil master to you then it’s time to rethink work. Like everything else in life, work has been marred by sin and it is one very real way we live with the consequences of The Fall. Our efforts and motivations are imperfect– as are the outcomes.
But consider– that’s not how it is meant to be.
How do you view work? As a God-given opportunity or as meaningless toil? Would it surprise you to learn that we were made to work? That’s right. Work – but not toil – existed before the Fall.
We do what we do because of who we are as stewards of all that God has placed without our management. That includes internal work to bring our minds and hearts into conformity with Jesus Christ. That includes work to bring justice to a world of injustice and life and light to a culture fixated on death and darkness. And yes, it includes the workaday world of bringing the life God has given us to produce good fruit through daily labor.
The overwhelming majority of God’s people go pro in something other than formal ministry. And yet, God intends that every believer be a missionary and a minister of reconciliation right where they are. God has intentionally called you to do what you do in order that you can be who you are as His agent of grace in that place with those people. You are the living demonstration of the Gospel whom God has sent to work the fast food line, the grocery store register, the reception desk and the landscaping crew. You feed, you greet, you plant in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. You are not what you are doing, you are being who you are.
But what about when our labor comes to an end? Do we lose our meaning when we retire from what we do? Only if we see ourselves as human doings instead of human beings.
It’s important to note that there no retirement in the Bible. You never retire from the Gospel advancing work to which you have been called. Life is to be lived on purpose, purposefully and toward a purpose. Retirement suggests that the productive and purposeful part of your life is somehow over and, like an old horse, it’s time to be put out to pasture. That may be American but it’s not Biblical. Christians are called to lead lives that are worthy of the calling of Jesus Christ from youth to old age.
[tweetthis]As a Christian, how do you answer the question “what do you do?”[/tweetthis]
“What do you do?” and “Where are you from?” are the first two questions most of us are asked when we meet new people. As a Christian, how are you answering those questions?
I advance the Kingdom of God, that’s what I do. Regardless of where I am, who I’m with or what I’m doing, I am always seeking to advance the Gospel. And where am I from? Well, I’d rather talk about where I’m headed. I’m a citizen of another Kingdom. So, right now, I’m an ambassador of my King. His name is Jesus. Have you heard of him? (Now you’ve really got a conversation started!)