Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash
I often begin my marketplace seminar with this question: “Why do you work?” The most common response I get would be along the lines of: “I work for a living” or “To get a pay cheque”. Would that be true for you?
Personally, I think that statement: “I work for a living” is true as a statement of outcome but not true as a statement of purpose. The question I am asking: “Why do you work?” is a purpose question.
It is true that God does provide for us a pay cheque through our work, but our reason for working must go beyond a pay cheque. If our view towards our work is purely utilitarian and transactional, then we would end up with a cultural rather than a biblical worldview towards our work. Our work is more tied up with our walk with God than we care to think.
Colossians 3:17 (KJV): “And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.”
When the Apostle Paul wrote those words, they were in the context of our new life in Christ. He was challenging us to live that resurrected life that focuses on things above and not on earthly things. And as part of living that crucified life, our work is also brought under the reign of the Cross.
Thus the Apostle Paul went on to challenge us in Colossians 3:22-24 (KJV): “Slaves (employees), obey your earthly masters (employers) in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favour, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
In the context of our discipleship unto Christ, our work takes on a new eternal dimension that goes beyond making a living by serving our employers through our work to living out our discipleship by serving our Lord Jesus Christ with our work.
When we do this, our reward is no longer just a pay cheque at the end of the month but it is an inheritance at the end of our discipleship journey. Then we are no longer serving men but Christ.
So, the question again: “Do you work for a living?”
What would your answer be?
Reflection and Discussion
1. What would a “crucified life” look like?
2. Read Colossians 3:24. What is the inheritance referred to here?
3. What would you do differently if you work for the Lord and not for men?
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