How many of you are excited and passionate about your work? When I use the term work, I am referring to all of your work – your job, housework, yardwork, schoolwork, cleaning the dishes, preparing meals, parenting, etc. In all these areas, there is work involved.
Unfortunately, in the culture we live in today, work is often viewed as drudgery, boring, dreaded and something to be avoided. In fact, there is an active and popular movement in our culture that encourages and incentivizes people not to work.
This is not how God intended for us to view work. He created us with the capacity to experience tremendous satisfaction in work that is not only finished but done well. From the very beginning, God formed in Adam a work ethic and gave him responsibility to care for the Garden. Genesis 2:15 tells us, “The Lord God took Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” We were created to work and designed to experience great satisfaction and fulfillment when we perform it with the right attitudes and motives.
God desires for us to view work as sacred. In fact, our work should be an act of worship. Your work environment (home, field, office, school) is where you spend most of your waking hours and is where you must intentionally practice living the Christian life. No matter how difficult your work situation is, or how challenging the people you work with are, you are to work with integrity that honors Jesus Christ. Our work should be an act of worship to Him.
Colossians 3:23-24 says, “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 Jesus Christ.”
There is a classic Christian book entitled, “Practicing the Presence of God,” that vividly portrays this reverent attitude we should have toward our work. This book records the writings and actions of a man known as Brother Lawrence, who lived in 17th century France. Brother Lawrence was a poor man who worked a number of service jobs and joined the army to survive. After suffering a serious injury while serving in the army, he had a life-changing experience with the Lord and joined a monastery.
For the remainder of his life, he served in the monastery as the master of the kitchen and a repairer of broken sandals. During his time of serving as a monk, he developed a simple pattern of working and praying from his heart. He called it “Practicing the Presence of God.” People from all over Europe heard of this humble, gracious and faithful monk and began seeking his counsel and prayers.
The book is a testimony to how Brother Lawrence committed everything he did as an act of worship and an opportunity to bring honor and glory to God. Here are a few of the famous quotes from Brother Lawrence.
“And so it is the same in the kitchen. I have accustomed myself to do everything there for the love of God. On all occasions, with prayer, I have found my work to be easy.”
“The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer. In the noise and the clatter of the kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great a tranquility as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.”
“Oh, if we but knew the need we have of God’s presence. If we could only see how greatly we need the Lord’s assistance in everything. If we could see how helpless we are without Him, we would never lose sight of Him – not even for a moment.”
“In summary, how can we pray to God without being with Him? And, how can we be with Him without thinking of Him often? And, how can we think of Him often without forming the holy habit of being in His presence?
I think Brother Lawrence got it right! In his daily, moment by moment, pursuit of intimacy and relationship with God, he came to understand that we are to strive to bring glory and honor to Him in everything we say and do. Even our work is to be viewed as sacred and an act of worship to our Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58 tells us, “Therefore, my brothers, be steadfast – immovable – always abounding in the work of the Lord – knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.”
This isn’t just about things we do at church. This verse applies to every facet of your entire life. If we dedicate all we do to God, it will not be useless. Our Heavenly Father promises that all of our efforts, committed to Him, will add up to something good in the end.
So, do all of your work enthusiastically as an act of worship to our Lord. What you do matters. For the Lord has promised that your labor will not be in vain.