Within the church community we often make an unnecessary separation between what is secular VS what is “spiritual” in terms of the job/ career we do. For example: someone working as a Pastor or a missionary is seen as “spiritual”, but an accountant, IT programmer, business owner, veterinarian, etc. are seen as ‘secular’ professions. Actually, whatever we do, as long as we do it in the values and spirit of the Kingdom of God, is counted as our worship to God.
Many of you in student cells may not have started work. But someday you will, so this is relevant for you as well. Let us see what the Bible says. To understand creation and life we need to refer back to the original design in Genesis.
- God is working. Act of creation itself is work, see Gen 2:7-9. God formed human being, planted a garden, etc.
- Material/ physical creation is good. When we read Genesis 1: 10, 12, 17-18, 21, 25 we notice that over and over God said that his creation was GOOD. This does not mean we should become materialistic, but we have to understand that the world/ universe/ creation was actually created good. It was destroyed by sin, so we live in an imperfect world. But creation still carries the majesty and glory of God, the Creator. We are allowed to enjoy creation, to work on it, but not to exploit/ destroy it.
- God creates and equips people to work
- Gen 1:26. Humans are created in God’s image. God is a worker, so it is normal that we have the desire to work/ create.
- Gen 2:5. “…to work the ground…” Humans are called to be involved in working on God’s creation.
- Gen 2:19. To give name means to exercise authority. Again, there is an evidence that humans have the authority to manage and keep God’s creation.
Our work is important in the kingdom of God. How?
- Support mission work: Church activity, outreach, mission to rural areas, etc.
- Work is contextual mission itself: God places us in our professional field all of these need financial support. God blesses us through our jobs so we can take part financially in supporting God’s mission work on earth. Remember: God does not need our money! He is powerful enough to keep his church going even without our money. But we are called to give so that we also experience blessing through our giving. And as we give, we are reminded to set our priorities in accordance to God’s priorities. (including housewives! As some of you will become, someday) so that we become his salt and light to that community. See Mat 5:16.
- Working means fulfilling the purpose and design of creation: As we have discussed in the first section, God created humans to work. But remember that whatever we do, it should come from our love to God as a worship to him. See Col 3:17, 23-24. Yes, our work is our worship!
So, the conclusion is: It’s OK (even good!) to enjoy work and the fulfilment it brings! We should not become workaholic or prioritise work above God and family, but do not feel guilty when you enjoy what you do. It is a blessing from God. When you work with an attitude of worship, you are being involved in God’s work to maintain his creation and fulfil his calling.