I have a terrible confession: Even as many struggle with retrenchments, short-time, and pay-cuts, I sometimes feel sorry for myself as I leave to go to work. Some days I know I have some tough cases or difficult patients waiting for me (or both at the same time), and sometimes I am simply struggling against sinful laziness.
Perhaps it’s just me, or perhaps you too find yourself not loving every moment of your job. Your lockdown “work from home” has come to an end and now you are having to brave the traffic to get to the office. Perhaps your particular field was designated “non-essential” during Level 5, or perhaps you just wonder what the point of it all is.
When such thoughts and emotions find their way into my heart, I realise that I have lost perspective of a tremendously important truth: For the Christian, there is no sacred/secular distinction. For the Christian, in a sense everything becomes sacred.
God is not interested in one-seventh of our lives. He calls us to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, which means that all of life becomes an act of worship.
As Doug Wilson notes, when you sit down to say grace at your dinner table and you thank God for the food, you are thanking God indirectly for every person’s work which resulted in you being able to eat and benefit from that food. You are thanking God for his provision for you, through the agency of other people.
Others sitting down to their own meal may be thanking God for his provision for them through you. In addition, Jesus tells us in Mark 9 that as we serve others, by doing something as simple as offering a cup of water to them, we can be serving God.
Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Brothers and sisters, whether your work is orientated towards the world or the home, your work is an act of worship, which can result in God’s glory and honour. “Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord, and not for men” (Colossians 3:23). Realise that, as you deal with that challenging boss, you are dealing indirectly with your Lord, and as you discipline your son for the 75th time for hitting his sister, you are working for God’s glory. As you wash those clothes, only to do it again a few days later, or perform the same menial task, for even less pay than before, realise that it is “from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:24).
Not only that, but you are being made more like your Saviour in the process. This is true regardless of whether you are being paid or not. All work has value and all work has reward. Of course, we need some of that reward here and now. God knows that, and so, if you are providentially hindered from working, let us do the work of prayer with you for a fresh opportunity, as you do the hard work of calling, submitting your CV, and job-searching. Whatever your work today entails, let’s be done with just grafting for a salary, and instead live our lives—every part—for the Lord.
Your fellow labourer, struggling with you for the mind of Christ,