Work is something that man has been doing since the beginning of our existence on the earth. When God created Adam, He did not say go and live, exist and accomplish nothing. The father told Adam to work the land and take care of it (Gen. 2:15). So right from the beginning man has had to work. Just as Adam had to work in the garden, so we must work today. The Bible has never since told man to stop working, God has just added to the bill. In an essay I just read, Dorothy L. Sayers wrote, “His satisfaction comes, in the god-like manner, from looking upon what he has made and finding it very good.” Work must be done for something higher than a paycheck. Can a man spend most of his life working just to get a paycheck and be satisfied?
Everyone has been given talents and abilities that come natural to us. But for some reason people are so interested in making money, they take the job that pays the most instead of the one that will satisfy and keep them wanting to go day after day. Employers don’t ask, “What type of worker is suited to this type of work?” They are looking to make as much money as possible, so they look for cheap labor that will work for the lowest pay possible without giving an argument. This will certainly lead to workers not wanting to go to work. They will go just to get paid, but not to make their work excellent. They will go because they have to, not because they want to make a difference. Sayers goes on to state:
“If we really believed that proposition and arranged our work and our standard of values accordingly, we should no longer think of work as something that we hastened; to get through in order to enjoy our leisure; we should look to our leisure as the period of changed rhythm that refreshed us for the delightful purpose of getting on with our work.”
We live in a time when work has become something we do to make money so we can afford the perfect house, car or vacation. Work has to be something we do because we enjoy it. A good question to ask before accepting a job is, “If I took this job and it would not make my life any better, or allow me to advance materially, would I still look at it the same?” If the answer is no, it would be better to find another job. Finding the perfect job is so important.
God has a plan for each of our lives, whether we know it or not. God wants to use us more than we could ever imagine. He has designed every one of His creations in such a way that when they do what He has called them to do, He will use them for amazing purposes. But as humans always do, we think we can do things so much better. So we try and fail. We might be happy for a while, with all we’ve ever wanted on this earth, but it always dissipates. And all that is left is a longing for wealth or title that can’t seem to be quenched.
When someone knows that he or she is making a difference, they will tend to work harder at being more excellent in that vocation. When someone knows that what he or she is doing has value and that they themselves are valued, they tend to want to do their job better. When someone’s life is being used to the fullest of their potential they never want to lose that, so they aspire to keep that.
Some Christians have given the secular workplace a second-place rating. Some would say the man who works in the pastor’s office is more important than the one who works with his hands in the workshop. A man “must be able to serve God in his work, and the work itself must be accepted and respected as the medium of divine creation.” Every man has a calling from God; it is his responsibility to answer that and go after it with all that he has and is. So if God has called one man to be a pastor and the other to raise chickens, then who is to say which one is more important? Certainly not us. Everyone should do what God has called them to do — not for the pleasure of man, but to please the one who has the power of life and death in His hands. A preacher may preach and do miracles and see thousands touched by his ministry, but if in his heart he is holding back, he has failed.
Work and the church are not separate. “She has allowed work and religion to become separate departments, and is astonished to find that, as a result, the secular work of the world is turned to purely selfish and destructive ends, and that the greater part of the world’s intelligent workers have become irreligious, or at least, uninterested in religion.” The more that people in the church are making classes about what is more important in the kingdom of God, the more that the people in the second class will feel like they do not belong. And when people feel that they do not belong in the church, they will not want to come or even hear what we have to say. Christians must remember that we have a mandate to reach out to everyone on the earth. The church cannot be so caught up in staying clean and neat so that others look at us and think that we have it all together. The work place is the perfect mission field. If, as Christians, we can not use that as a means for the Lord to work though us, than we are better off to stop working and live on the streets with others that also need to hear of Christ’s love.