“I don’t live to work. I work so I can live.”- Christina Gandhi
I couldn’t agree with that statement more. While I love my job, most days anyway, it, in no way, shape, or form, rules my life. But, I do get some sense of fulfillment out of my work. Whether it be going in to the office Monday through Friday or putting on a candle show by night, serving at church on Sunday or leading a Bible study during the week, I’ve found ways to bring glory to Jesus.
“A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling if only it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests. Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self- realization slowly crushes a person.” – Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor
Truths about God’s purposes for us here on earth have been coming quite clear through reading that one book. If you look back at that garden, God gave Adam work. He gave Eve work.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock, and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground…” God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it…” Genesis 1.26, 28
Work gives us purpose, and, according to Tim Keller, it’s one of the few things we can take in significant doses without harm – that is, unless it has become an idol in one’s life. That’s also why God gave the ultimate example of taking time to rest: By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Genesis 2.2
“The material creation was made by God to be developed, cultivated and cared for in an endless number of ways through human labor. But even the simplest of ways is important. Without them all, human life cannot flourish.” – Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor
In light of that, any work I do matters, whether I personally thing it does on any given day or not. Being kind and listening to the callers I speak with on a daily basis does wonders on not just them, but me too. It means I intentionally listen. I intentionally discover ways to show God’s love to those around me, both over the phone and in person. I intentionally serve.
And through that, gratitude is born. I’m thankful for work, no matter what I do.
What about you? What makes your job matter? How can you intentionally bring God into your work, whether it’s through acts of service at church or your 9-5 job?