Doing Your Work for the Glory of God

Thanks to Jake Mailhot for sharing these important thoughts about work and vocation:

“We spend the vast majority of our waking hours on the job, yet glorifying God in our work is rarely a topic of conversation in the church. Faithful Christians who desire to honor God with their vocational lives often do so by working ethically, starting lunchtime Bible studies, facilitating a prayer time, or sharing their faith regularly. While each of these activities are honoring to God, he also cares about the tasks of our jobs as well.”

To read more of his helpful thoughts, click here. He also recommends a helpful book on this important topic called Every Waking Hour.

I agree with Jake that God cares about the work we do every week. Sales, medical practice, teaching, construction, administration, HR, mechanics, housekeeping, or any other legitimate work  God cares about all of it, because your work is far more than a venue for getting income to pay bills. It is an opportunity for God to receive the attention, recognition and worship that He deserves.

This is what it means to glorify God: to draw attention to God. And your work is a significant way to do this (1 Cor. 10:31). So without giving a thorough biblical theology of work, allow me to share three important ways that you can glorify God through your vocation.

  1. Acknowledge God as your employer (Eph. 5:5-9; Col. 3:22-25). Whether you work for an employer or run your own business, you answer to God. Embracing this fact enables you to approach your work differently than your colleagues. Some may work the system as a hyper-competitive employee, looking to get ahead by any means: pandering to the boss, playing the political game, self-promotion, putting down others and working insane, voluntary overtime hours. Others may complain, under-perform, cut corners and push hard for better treatment and higher wages. In either case, the problem is unhealthy attention and reliance upon self. The alternative is to work hard and trust in God, regardless of your circumstances. Doing this draws attention to God.
  2. Do your work in a diligent and excellent manner (Eccl. 9:10; Col. 3:23). Arrive on time. Communicate honestly. Improve your skills. Ask good questions. Focus intently on your work. Maintain a positive attitude. Don’t cut corners and don’t do things in a sluggish, halfhearted manner. Good old fashioned hard work that gets down to business and gets business done the right way is always appropriate. And best of all, it brings attention to God, who is perfectly diligent and excellent in every way.
  3. Introduce other people to Jesus (Matt. 28:18-20; Col. 4:6; 1 Pet. 3:16). God calls disciples into a wide variety of vocations, fields, professions, institutions and environments. He does this to be glorified in all kinds of work, but He also does this to be glorified to all kinds of people. The people who work alongside of you, the people who network with you, the people you serve and the people who manage you all need God. Some need to be introduced to Him for the first time. Others have questions that need answers. And others are very close to turning to God. Just as God places missionaries in strategic places around the world, He places all of His disciples into strategic places of work and employment. He does this to build His church (Eph. 3:21).

So as you carry out your work this week, whether in first, second or third shift, regular time or overtime, do it for the glory of God. Serve God through your work. Work in a diligent and excellent manner, regardless of how you are treated. And look for opportunities to talk to other people about Jesus. In all that you do, may God get all the attention that He deserves.

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