On Sunday, we looked at Solomon's views about how work or a career can be meaningless if it is not redeemed. When we work simply for a pay check, we get frustrated and disillusioned, especially if it doesn't utilize our gifts and talents. The most satisfaction in our employment comes when we believe we are making a contribution that will last. Sadly, most of our jobs do not have this quality about them. It certainly would be easier for us on Monday mornings if we had jobs which brought us joy, satisfaction and allowed us to do the things we really enjoyed doing. If you have a job like that, then you are truly blessed.
However, if you fall into the category of having a job which doesn't utilize our God-given talents but allows us to pay the bills, then we must find a way to redeem that job. On Sunday morning, we looked at the two ways Ecclesiastes 2 showed us. Those are perhaps the best ways to redeem our jobs. But if those don't work, here are some Biblical suggestions:
Read I Corinthians 15:9-10
In this passage, we are reminded by Paul that since he had received so much grace from God, he worked harder than others. God's gracious gift of salvation motivated him to work hard, not to earn salvation but as a result of salvation. He was so grateful to God for eternal life, that he wanted his work in this life to reflect God's grace. Wow! Do we do that at our jobs? Do we work harder than others because we have been blessed with eternal life? Does our work reflect an attitude of commitment, even in the menial tasks? Do we have a quality to our work that surprise others because they are simply marking time?
Read Colossians 3:23-24
This passage reminds us to work with all of our heart because it is the Lord Jesus Christ we are serving. So often, we will work hard for a "good" boss and slack off for a boss who acts like a jerk. We forget that our ultimate boss is Jesus. He gave us this job and He is the one we should work to please. This will affect the joy we have when we go to work. This means our job is eternally significant and we get to honor Jesus five days a week. Whether this is our career or just a job along the way, we need to work in a way that Jesus is thrilled with us. At the end of the day, is Jesus pleased by my effort, attitude and ethic at work?
As devoted followers of Christ, our actions and attitudes at the job are our greatest witness. Others should be able to tell we serve Jesus by how we serve our boss. When we have the opportunity to witness at work, people should not be surprised that we are Christians. They should already know it by the way we work. I can honestly say that I have never had a bad job. I was blessed to have a Godly Dad who gave me an example of hard work and dedication. I also was able to learn God's Word enough to know some of these truths about redeeming my work. I often long to work in the secular world where people don't expect me to have a Jesus ethic. People should expect the pastor to be a reasonable example of Jesus, but they don't always expect their co-workers to do that. I have worked at places like:
Sneakers in the Carolina Circle Mall.
Delivering newspapers for the Greensboro News & Record
I didn't always enjoy everything about those jobs, but they helped prepare me for the next step in my life. I thank God for the people I met in these places and for the insights God shared with me through them.
So where do you work? Are you a student? Are you retired and about the choose where you spend your time? Are you looking for work? Whatever station in which you find yourself, let the quality of your work reflect the quality of your faith in Christ!