A Disciple’s Work

Photo Credit: mark sebastian via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: mark sebastian via Compfight cc

In the last post, we explored how the entire schedule of a follower of Christ is devoted to God and not jut the part labeled church, Bible study, or small group. This leads to very practical questions about how the different parts of our life are brought under the rule and reign of Jesus. One of the first that comes to mind in our society is work. What do we do about our jobs? How do change the way that we see our occupations as a disciple?

To answer that, we really need to go all the way back to the beginning and ask why we work. In Genesis 1:28 God gives humanity this mandate, “ I make you trustees of My estate, so care for My creation and rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that roams across the earth.” 1 From the very beginning God gave us a command to take care of creation and rule over the world. We have a call from God to work, as hard as that is to believe. He put us in charge of the world from the beginning to garden and wrangle animals. Fast forward a few hundred years, and what does that mean for us? Very few of us garden and care for animals on a professional basis, so what do we do? Genesis 1 is more than a mandate to cultivate the earth and care for creatures, although those things are still very important to God. It is a call to contribute to the functioning of the world and culture. As population increases, there arise needs for various occupations to continue the mandate to fill the earth and subdue.

So what’s the practical application? While we need jobs to provide for ourselves and our families, they give us a means of contributing to culture and the ruling of the earth. It’s more than just a paycheck, it is an opportunity for us to participate in God’s created order. As followers of Jesus, we out to give our best to our jobs and see our work as a calling from God. For many this is hard because we don’t do a job that we love. What would change, however, if we were to work every job like it was a calling from God? For one thing, it gives us the opportunity to share with co-workers why we love our jobs so much. We also get to see our mundane jobs as a way of participating in God’s work to bless the world. Whether you strive to be the world’s best janitor, doctor, CEO, mailman, nanny, or landscaper, we are called by God to work and participate in the running of creation.

  • How can you change your perception of your work?
  • What would change if you were to do every job like it was a calling from God?
1 The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.