A Christian Perspective on Work – Part 4

A Christian Perspective on Work – Part 4 June 25, 2012

The story is told of a visitor to a medieval stonemason’s yard who questioned several workers about what they were doing.”I’m cutting a stone,” said one. “I’m earning my living,”replied another. But the third responded, “I’m building a cathedral.”

Attitude is everything, especially when it comes towork. The Christian attitude, as I described last week, is to offer all ourwork as service to Jesus Himself. “Work with enthusiasm, as though you wereworking for the Lord rather than for people” (Eph 6:7 NLT).

The implications of this attitude are vast. First, itdestroys the sacred/secular dichotomy. When Paul enjoins us to work as thoughwe were serving Christ Himself, he completely obliterates any notion ofspiritual superiority from one task to the next. No work, including churchwork, should be regarded as somehow more “spiritual” or more pleasing to Godthan any other type of work.

Second, it exalts all work, whether paid or unpaid. Thewhole earth is the Lord’s, and He calls us to subdue and have dominion over it.God is quite interested in—and pleased with—our washing the car, doing thelaundry, and vacuuming the carpet. “Whatever good anyone does,” Paul wrote,“this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free” (Eph6:8).

Third, it rejects the social prestige (or stigma) ofcertain jobs. All legitimate work has value to God. Professional, white-collarworkers like bankers and business-people are equal in God’s sight with thosewho work a trade or perform unskilled labor. Since every task or job is part ofour calling from God, its value does not depend upon the prestige granted it bysociety.

Finally, it imparts real spiritual value to all work.Your occupation is not simply the arena within which you serve God; itis the means through which He enables you to serve Him. Yourwork—whether paid or unpaid, whether culturally prestigious or insignificant, whether “sacred” or “secular”—IS your service to God, if youview it as an obedient response to the calling of your heavenly Master.

From now on, if anyone asks what you’re doing, you canhonestly say, “I’m doing the most valuable, most prestigious, most satisfyingthing you can imagine. I am personally serving the King of all kings and theLord of all lords. Pretty cool, huh?”