Working for God
When I was 13, I gave my life to God. And since then,
God has always figured into my work decisions. As
children, my sister and I worked on our Dadâ€™s
newspaper. He set his production schedule for the paper
to allow us all to attend midweek worship, which at that
time was held on Tuesday nights. Our postal permit
specified that weâ€™d have the papers in the post office
first thing Thursday morning, which often necessitated
working far into the night Wednesday.
At some point, the elders of our independent country
church decided that, since churches in larger towns had
Wednesday night services, they wanted us to do the
same. My father registered his objections, but to no
avail. He had to work, but he gave my sister and me the
choice--we could go to church or we could stay at the
shop and help him get the paper out.
My sister chose to go to church. I chose to help with the
paper. Both were moral decisions, and each of us
wanted to do Godâ€™s will. It was the case of a single
principle playing itself out in different ways.
Work is mentioned in the 10 Commandments: â€œSix
days you shall labor and do all your work . . . â€�
The Psalmist refers to work: â€œMay the favor of the
Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our
hands for us--yes, establish the work of our handsâ€�
Jesus spoke of work: â€œAs long as it is day, we must
do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when
no one can workâ€� (John 9:4).
1) To be able to provide for ourselves and others. â
€œMake it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your
own business and to work with your hands, just as we
told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of
outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on
anybodyâ€� (1 Thessalonians 4:11)
â€œIf anyone does not provide for his relatives, and
especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith
and is worse than an unbeliever.â€� (1 Timothy 5:8)
2) To have the resources to give to those in need. â
€œHe who has been stealing must steal no longer, but
must work, doing something useful with his own hands,
that he may have something to share with those in needâ
€� (Ephesians 4:28).
How do we work?
I believe Paul was speaking to todayâ€™s wage slaves
as well as of people in bondage when he said, â€œSlaves,
obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it not only
when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with
sincerity of heart and reverence to the Lord. Whatever
you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the
Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive
an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord
Christ you are servingâ€� (Colossians 3:22).
Weâ€™re working for God, not just our bosses.
Therefore, our work is a gift, a sacrifice to God. That
does away with the tendency to cut corners, to be less
than honest and not to do as well as weâ€™re capable of
doing All our work is Godâ€™s work. (See chapters
on â€œMy Work,â€� â€œTime at Homeâ€� and â
€œTime on the Jobâ€� in Helen Young's and my book,
Time Management for Christian Women.)