“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” 1Thes 4:11-12 (NIV)
You would no doubt have heard or might even subscribe to the spiritual-secular myth, a concept that seeks to divide our lives into different autonomous compartments. The realities of bureaucracy gone mad and political correctness, which such thinking gives birth to can be seen in the many negative headlines that seek primarily to keep God out of schools, politics and the work place. This notion is popularised by the statement ‘We don’t do God’, attributed to Alastair Campbell, one time spin doctor or Director of communications to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair,
This philosophy has invariably seeped into the national psyche, negatively impacting many Christians’ ability and willingness to share Jesus Christ in the market place. In fact, many of us have quietly given up on the great mandate to ‘Show forth His praise to the world’, due to our reluctance to create waves. So, we often refrain from living or actively sharing our faith in the work place and confine our evangelical activities to our neighbourhood.
In his excellent book titled Work: prison or place of destiny? David Oliver addressed the question of who is our neighbour? He correctly noted the fact that “Many of us are struggling to develop a relationship with the strange couple next door when our neighbour is just a desk away!” He debunked the myth of the spiritual-secular divide by arguing that as Christians, “If we are not certain that our job is the call of God on our lives, we run the risk of wasting the best part of each day, each week and each year. If we are not certain that our job is the call of God for now, it means that half of our life can easily and in reality be spent outside the will of God.”
Given that we will spend at least thirty percent of our lives pursuing our careers and that most of us will not be called to work full time in the church ministry, we need to understand that our work is our ministry. So, whether you repair cars, wash plates, shine shoes, manage a business teach in the university or mind the home, you need to regard and subsequently approach your present profession as God’s call on your life.
Offer your work as a service to God the same way you worship Him on Sundays. The reason for this assertion is because your work is not just a way to earn money to live. It constitutes a means and an opportunity to worship God and show forth His glory to the world. A job well done reflects well on the God who is associated with you as a Christian and also testifies to God’s goodness in your life. So, purpose to pursue excellence in your profession and let God speak through your work and draw many unto Himself through your creative worship. God expects nothing less from you.
Lord, I ask today for a heightened sense of purpose with respect to my job. Give me a revelation so that I can really see what you desire to accomplish in my life and those of my colleagues. Help me to maintain the right focus and realise that my work is not just a means to the end of making money but an avenue to worship and glorify your name.