[Also posted on the Examiner.com]
Who hasn't prayed this prayer before? "God, I hate my job--get me out of this %^&#$@ place and away from these people!" (One of the more honest prayers, frankly.) And of course the alternative to the swearing prayer of deliverance (Martin Luther, the patron saint?) is to just go to sleep on the job, right?
Work can be great. But I've also heard that it can be a drudgery, a source of stress, a place of ugly relationships and a place to be endured.
People often take an attitude that views work as a trial to be endured and as something separate from their "spiritual life". Some even view work as an impediment to spiritual life (especially the more your job makes you use your bowling words, right?)
Colossians 3:22-24 has something important to say about how God views your work. This passage helps a Jesus follower shape a theology of work. A theology of work says that God has a big worship purpose in the everyday working life of everyday people. Your work is not separate from your spiritual life; your work is a big expression your spiritual life.
There are two ways a follower of Jesus can approach their work:
- Work as "Eye-service": you offer your work to your boss to convince him of your worth. Result: better paycheck.
- Work as "God-service": you offer your work to God to convince God of His worth to you. Result: better, fuller, deeper worship of Jesus.
Work as "God-service" is a powerful expression of worship. And the powerful point of it is, if you offer your work to God, you send it ahead into kingdom as worship. "...Work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward."
That's kingdom speak. It means your everyday work has lasting, eternal value. Think about it--your approach to data entry, teaching, hammering nails, filing, consulting, programming, litigating... all of it has the potential to be a chorus of worship that reverberates eternally.
So if you are hating your job today, feeling stuck (and in this job market who isn't) and wanting your life to be a reflection of the influence of Jesus, let me give you a few books and resources to help you rethink your situation:
No More Mondays blog with Dan Miller