By Sebastian Traeger
Okay, perhaps someone was having a little fun with Photoshop here. Think about this picture for just a second. If you saw this guy walking down the street, I doubt your first thought would be, “Wow, that dude is in really great shape.” It probably wouldn’t even be, “Wow, I’m really impressed by your left side. Good work!” No, your reaction would be more like, “Yikes! Something went wrong there!”
Yet we make the same mistake when we allow ourselves to think of our work as merely a means to an end. When we ignore God’s purposes in our work and think of it as “just a job” we have to “slog through” in order to get to the important stuff, we’re pulling the spiritual equivalent of knocking out a quick set of five curls on our right arm so we can get to the really important task of working out our left arm! We end up with a terrible imbalance in our spiritual life – robust discipleship (maybe) with our family and church, but a weak and emaciated discipleship in our work life.
Christians can’t be content with this kind of spiritual imbalance. The Bible calls us to be disciples of Jesus and worshippers of God in every area of our lives. In everything we do, we should work as those who are working for Jesus. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that God doesn’t care about your work.
Believing that God doesn’t care about our work can lead us into disobedience and sin. Christians often find themselves doing things at work that they’d never do anywhere else – treating people with contempt, losing their tempers, stealing time or supplies, cutting corners or fudging what’s right and wrong. When we decide that our jobs don’t really matter to God, we’re less careful to keep God at the front of our minds when we’re dealing with others. We find ourselves, without even realizing it, doing our work without thinking about Jesus at all.
Think and Pray
Think about the task you’re in the middle of right now. Have you prayed that God would give you wisdom and effectiveness in doing that task?
Father, before I keep doing the work in front of me today, please guide me in the way You would have me go. What would please You in this particular situation?
Sebastian Traeger is the executive vice president of the International Mission Board for the Southern Baptist Convention. He previously worked in business and technology where he started, led, and built several companies such as FiveStreet, Razoo, Silas Partners, and Village Phone. He co-authored The Gospel At Work with Greg Gilbert.
This article is an excerpt from his book, The Gospel At Work. Used with permission.