Is our work fulfilling? Does work always feel like it matters? Sometimes it just doesn’t feel that way. We can see in Genesis how work was designed by God. God placed Adam in the garden to tend to it. Adam and Eve showed God that obeying this command was worth it and tended all of creation which was in perfect harmony. After the serpent entered the picture, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God and work was corrupted. Work was no longer totally fulfilling and intrinsically satisfying like God had designed it to be. Now it was going to be hard. Because of sin, labor and hard-earned returns would be the new version of work.
If we are honest, all our jobs have times that test us, making us feel like it isn’t as fulfilling at times as we hoped that it would be. Sometimes we wonder how much what we do really matters in the scheme of things. The good news is that Jesus and his redemptive work doesn’t just redeem our spiritual lives, Jesus has redeemed our ENTIRE lives. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20 tells us “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” God has given us the ministry of reconciliation. As followers of Jesus we are now ambassadors for him. God has given us a new purpose and a new work to do. We are to work to reconcile others to God. Considering God’s word, our jobs and careers, whatever they might be, must now be both worship to Him and a witness to others. Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” This is God’s plan for our job which he has blessed us with, and therefor it’s ultimate purpose.
We probably have tasks that we don’t like. Some tasks are better, some are worse. It’s easy to give thanks on the good days. But what about when the spreadsheet doesn’t add up, the part doesn’t fit, the client is being unreasonable, the supervisor is on a war path, or the investment drops through the floor? To give thanks to Jesus means to accomplish even these tasks as if He had personally asked you to do it. It’s not about what we must do, it’s about how we do it. All of us at times try to divide ourselves into different facets. Sometimes church Ryan, work Ryan, fun Ryan and family Ryan look a little different. We must not separate our spiritual selves from any area of our lives. How we work, and our attitude speaks volumes about our relationship with God. When we come to church, we want the experience to be authentic right? The worship, the message, and the relationships should be authentic, shouldn’t they? Are we authentic beyond the church walls when things get tough? Are we giving those moments to the Lord, or does it become about us? I challenge all of us to take ALL tasks this week, even the rough ones, with the idea that Jesus has called us to that thing to glorify Himself. We are the light in the darkness when we glorify Him as we work.