To live a God-centered life is to do have God as the foundation, top priority, and as the very center of our existence. God should reshape and restructure our mentality of the workplace and its significance.
Every workplace is an opportunity to further the gospel message across to those lost and hopeless. But in oder for that to happen, we need to re-evaluate our perception of the work we are currently involved with and start working for the sake of God’s fame and glory.
Now this leads to three important questions regarding work:
1. What does the Lord say and calls me to believe about any type of work or employment?
- Work as if you are working for the Lord (Col. 3:22-24).
- Use special skills, gifts, and talents to honor God (Ex. 36:1).
- Hard work brings forth rewards (Prov. 12:14).
- Hard work helps provide for the basic every day needs (Prov. 28:19).
- Our work for God is never in vain (1 Cor. 15:58)
- We should work as servants of Christ (Eph. 6:5-9).
The workplace can actually be an arena to display the gospel with people as we share, relate, and demonstrate whom we are working for. Work is a great witness opportunity.
If we are to do work the right way, first we have to prepare our hearts and have good and purposeful intentions. Obedience to the leaders or managers will honor God. Managers are the earthly authority ordained by God to establish security and order in the workplace. The ultimate goal of their leadership is to keep peace and order in the workplace— leading with justice, fairness, and equality.
Success will ultimately depend on God. The key is to have the right attitude. A positive attitude will result in a better environment and atmosphere at work. This produces better chances to establish relationships. It just makes work so much more enjoyable and fun.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ (Col. 3:23-24 ESV).
Work and obey not just to please man, but with a good and sincere heart, in light of the inheritance in stored in heaven, serve God with the best work possible. “Good work is worth doing, and the world needs plenty of people who do it well” (Cornelius Plantinga, Engaging God’s World, 115).
2. Based on God’s faithfulness in His provision, how does or should work be affected for the Lord?
First and foremost we should respond to God with thanksgiving and praise for His provision and blessing. We should live a life of service to God. Therefore a change must take place in our daily work. Mission-centered work to expand the kingdom of God should be our ultimate desire and task. Work will be affected when we activate our faith and put it to work.
Our faith in Jesus Christ should be incorporated into our daily routine at work. Faith should guide and fuel our motivation to work for the Lord. Is it not God who is merciful that provides the job in the first place? God blesses people in order for them to be a blessing to others! There are no better motives to strive at work than the simple fact that we are children of God and should therefore live as children of light (Eph. 5:8). God calls us to be imitators of his love, walking in his image and likeness as his beloved children (Eph. 5:1-2). The workplace is the place to shine bright with the light of Jesus through love and grace.
3. Based on what God has done in the world in history through the church and individuals, how does or should employment affect life for me, us, others, etc?
We are the people of God; therefore we should live in accordance with the kingdom of God, under the rule and reign of Christ. Living in that reality will happen when we react to the gospel message in repentance and obedience.
This mentality should therefore not fade away when we each go our separate ways to our jobs and workplaces. Instead we should ask ourselves, “How can I further the gospel message at this specific time, in this scenario or context?”
Tim Keller says our faith informs our work in at least four ways:
- First, our faith changes our motivation for work
- Second, our faith changes our conception of work
- Third, our faith provides high ethics for Christians in the work place.
- Fourth, our faith gives us the basis for re-conceiving the very way in which our work is done.
Work is redefined and remodeled when we see it through God’s eyes. Work is no longer just for the money—but a place for the gospel and kingdom of God to expand by people who work for the Lord and further his mission. We are called to work as faithful servants to the One and only true living God with humility, sincerity, and intentionally to display God’s love to others. So as the apostle Paul once said, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).