One of the things that’s always troubled me is how to properly view my work. Am I just toiling away at this job for nothing? When a client runs afoul of our plans, or does something against what we’d advise and everything goes haywire, it makes me think “what’s the point of what we’re doing in the first place?”
The problem is compounded when we hear Christ tell us to store up riches in heaven and not on earth. Our minds fly to the next thought “not only am I not making a difference here on earth (i.e. clients not listening etc), but I’m not even storing anything up for eternity!”
Stay at home moms have the same conundrum. “My kids aren’t listening to me, they’re not obeying, nothing I’m doing is working, and I’m not producing spiritual fruit! I’m just getting frustrated!”
In answer to this, Paul tells us to “work heartily unto the Lord.” But this isn’t simply an attitude adjustment that Pau’s admonishing us to make. Let’s examine the larger context:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)
So Paul is saying that not only are we to work heartily, but that by doing so we are storying up treasures in heaven as a reward. However, he doesn’t stop there. He then goes on to say that “you are serving the Lord Christ.” In other words, in this way, we are “presenting our bodies as living sacrifices” which are holy and acceptable to Christ (Romans 12 paraphrase is mine).
We are made to worship God and to enjoy Him. This is the sole reason for God creating us. “…bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:6-7).
So as we work, we worship. And because we were created to worship and love God and give Him glory, we can do that in our work – both at home and in the workplace. In other words, we can do the very thing we are created to do while we sit at our desk. We will never experience the full meaning of this mystery until we are fully united with Christ at His second coming. Nor do I pretend that our time at work is as worshipful and meaningful as other times that are more focused on worshiping Him (i.e. Sunday morning worship). But I think we need to “lift our dropping heads”, and realize that though our work may seem meaningless, God says its exactly the opposite. He has you where you are for a reason – the main reason is to glorify Him.
- For more on this, check out this article by Fred Smith.
- Or Seeing___Savoring_Jesus_Christ John Piper’s book “Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ” and check out chapter two.