“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”
(1 Timothy 4:10 ESV)
Fulfillment and frustration are both found in our vocations. If we’ve worked long enough, we have discovered that we typically experience the latter more often than the former. Given our fallen nature, we prioritize comfort over hard work when it should be the other way around. We find pleasure in avoiding work instead of through work. Sin has distorted our perception of labor, making it difficult to see our professions as an avenue of worship.
Because we struggle to find satisfaction during work hours, we have to be reminded daily that work is a blessing from God. When God created the first humans, Adam and Eve, He placed them in the Garden of Eden with the task of tending it. While God could easily have done this by Himself, He wanted them to be His representatives on Earth by caring for the garden. Work was bound to their existence, and they were able to enjoy it as long as they obeyed the command of not eating from one particular tree in the garden: the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They disobeyed God’s warning, so Adam and Eve had to be punished for rebelling against a holy, righteous God. Humanity’s relationship with God broke that day, and we’ve been straying from God’s original design for work ever since.
By understanding God’s view of work, we should be encouraged to showcase excellence and humility in a manner that separates us from unbelievers in the workplace. As beings created in God’s image, our desire to build, cultivate, and organize stems from God. We’re mirrors meant to reflect God’s creativity, rationality, and desire for community. Timothy Keller states, “Work is not, primarily, a thing one does to live, but the thing one lives to do. It is, or it should be, the full expression of the worker’s faculties… the medium in which he offers himself to God.” Regardless of our job titles, God desires His people to be impactful in every sphere of influence.
Each of us is uniquely made to serve a specific purpose. God didn’t create us to simply exist. The earth wasn’t formed as a playground for us in which to frolic. Through our different perspectives, personalities, and passions, we were meant to serve one another and to glorify God through our good works.
As we explore the importance of faith in the workplace, may we be encouraged to utilize both our efforts and our energies to be an effective witness for the kingdom of God. Striving to be better stewards over creation, let us be reminded that, “In word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17 ESV)