Every morning, when you go to the work-places, with what kind of purpose do you go? Often, we think that work is a curse. We view work as an inevitable evil that we must do to live and survive. But, is it really true?
According to the Bible, any form of work done for the Lord in love, faith, and hope is a noble and sacred work. Every morning, when I go to the work-places, I try to remind myself three things:
1. Work is a Spiritual Worship
In Genesis 1-2, we see that Adam was given a work to take care of the garden, BEFORE the universal sin entered into the world in Genesis 3. It means that the "work" in God's original design never came as a result of sin, but was always a part of God's beautiful creation design order. Also, in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for work "Abad" is interchangeably used for words such as "service, and worship" for God (See a blog post, What is a Holy Work?). So, according to the Old Testament, our work was meant to be a time of worship for the Lord.
Even in the New Testament, Paul says in Romans 12:1,
"Present your bodies as a living sacrifice."
According to this verse, Paul reminds that worshipping God is not a matter of location or time (e.g. being at a church on Sunday), but a matter of giving ourselves in totality to the Lord. So, when our work is given to the Lord, meaning God becomes the sole recipient of the work that we do, then that work becomes a worship to the Lord.
Also, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 10:31, "Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." The word, "whatever" indicates that God is not concerned necessarily with "what" we do for work (as long as they are not illegal and immoral), but "why" we do what we do. So the work that is done to and for the Lord is a work that is offered as a living sacrifice that results in expression of God's glory to the world. So, work is a spiritual worship.
2. Work is a Spiritual Exercise
Secondly, when I go to the work, I remind myself that work is a spiritual exercise that will help me grow in the disciplines of the Lord. For example, there are so many times at work I worry about getting things done, instead of trusting that God will lead me through. So, at work, I try to remind myself whenever I am running into a complex problem,
"This is an opportunity for me to trust God, experience God's miracles, and grow in faith." So, work is a place where I get to grow spiritually in the matters of God.
3. Work is a Spiritual Practice
Third, when I am going to the work-place, I try to remind myself that I am going there to love and serve my neighbours. Jesus says the second greatest commandment in the Bible is to love our neighbours. I believe that work is an opportunity to do that!
My wife and I love to go to a coffee shop. Because the business owner beautifully operates and faithfully runs that coffee shop, my wife and I are blessed to enjoy a warm cup of coffee, a tasty bakery, and an uplifting conversation that greatly enriches our relationships in the Lord. Also, when I am doing the work of accounting for my company that provides homes to the low-income tenants in British Colombia, I remind myself that the work of accounting is used to steward God-given resources for my company, so that the company can fulfill its mission to help more people have homes and help them break through the cycle of poverty.
So, according to the Bible, our work is more than something we do for a pay check, or something we must do, because we have to. According to the Bible, work is a (1) spiritual worship, a (2) spiritual exercise, and a (3) spiritual practice to love our neighbours and bless the world. So, next time, when you go to work, remind you of these things. Your work will have a renewed sense of meaning and purpose.