Thursday, March 29, 2007
Does Your Work Matter to God?
My friend Phil was recently in a conversation with other guys his age (25-30), on the topic of how to glorify God in the workplace. It was a wonderfully honest discussion. Some men readily admitted that they viewed their jobs as mundane and didn't quite see the connection to any greater good in the kingdom of God.
I suspect that their responses aren't unique to them. In her book Total Truth, Nancy Pearcey notes the sacred/secular divide and its impact to Christians.
...modern society is characterized by a sharp split between the sacred and secular spheres - with work and business defined as strictly secular. As a consequence, Christians often live in two separate worlds, commuting between the private world of family and church (where we can express our faith freely) and the public world (where religious expression is firmly suppressed). Many of us don't even know what it means to have a Christian perspective on our work. Oh, we know that being a Christian means being ethical on the job..."no lying or cheating" But the work itself is defined in secular terms as bringing home a paycheck, climbing a career ladder, building a professional reputation. (Total Truth, p.65)
I know that there are always aspects of work that can seem monotonous and mundane. However, I don't think that it should be the normative mindset for Christians and I've blogged about how to view it redemptively. God has something better for us. Yet, I understand the struggle expressed by Phil and his friends - we've all been there and we revisit from time to time.
Does your work matter to God? How would you encourage Phil and his friends to view their jobs with more meaning, either from your own experience or more importantly, from the Bible? What advice would you offer them?
No trick questions here and these aren't rhetorical - we all really want to know.