In the beginning, God created everything—including work. And as with all things He created, work was good. Free from toil and adversity, humans worked in the garden as an expression of worship to God. In its original created form, work was one of the ways humans engaged in relationship with God. As those made in the image of the working God, humans also worked—and it was good.
The pure goodness of work didn’t last forever. In one disobedient act, humans severed their relationship with God. Sin caused a ripple of destruction throughout all creation. As a result, work was also broken, corrupt, and cursed because of the Fall. Instead of worshipping God through work, we have a tendency to worship the hollow god of work. Work can cause personal stress, relational tension, and global problems. Work was in desperate need of redemption.
God wanted to make things right again, but sin couldn’t go unpunished. Compelled by His love and mercy, He sent His Son, Jesus, to pay the price for sin. Jesus paved the way to redeem us and redeem work through us. He died and rose again not just to save sinners, but also to restore all of life, including work. By grace through faith, Jesus renews us and our approach to work. Work is no longer broken with no hope for repair. Work no longer rules over our lives. With God’s favor upon us, we don’t work to earn His approval. We work motivated by the love of our Savior. In Christ, we are free to work for God’s glory.
When Jesus left the earth, He commissioned His followers to the mission of God—to make healthy disciples who grow in Christlikeness and love God’s Word. God gifted us with the Holy Spirit who now lives in us, empowering us to fulfill God’s mission until Jesus returns one day to restore all things. With this new perspective of life, we are on mission for God wherever we go—even at work. Work has a role in the kingdom of God because work is an avenue for fulfilling God’s mission. With a newfound purpose, we chase God’s mission with perseverance— in the boardroom, on lunch break, or at the cubicle. Because of Christ and His mission, we have purpose in all we do, especially our work.
Compelled by God’s mission, we carry Christ with us wherever we go. Following Jesus isn’t limited to Sunday morning—spirituality and work aren’t separated. All of life qualifies as spiritual as we carry the truth of Christ into the workplace. We are Jesus’s ambassadors at work—in the conference room, around the water cooler, or at the lunch table. We represent Him as lights in the darkness of the marketplace. Everything we do at work should be done in the name of Jesus, motivated out of adoration for Jesus, and presented with the love of Jesus.
When we enter into relationship with God through Jesus, God grows us into the image of His Son. The Spirit of God works in us as we work. He uses our relationships, successes, failures, and experiences at work as a significant tool in our spiritual formation. He teaches us to have the mind of Christ at work, to treat people as Jesus did, and to bear the fruit of the Spirit. We make mistakes, learn, and grow in our jobs under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Through work, God shapes how we view Him, the world, and ourselves. We become mature followers of Jesus as we pursue God at work.
God does more through us at work than we can ever imagine. He designed work for the good of the world—not just ourselves. God sees our small acts of obedience at work and those actions have a profound impact in His kingdom. Our work impacts our coworkers, clients, and managers. It also provides jobs, fuels the economy, and allows culture to flourish. In some ways, we may never know the profound impact of our work, but we can trust that God uses work to influence people around the world.
Our work goes beyond being a mission field, a place of growth, and an avenue for impact. Work is also worship. Everything we do—work included—can glorify God and honor His name. God gives our work purpose. He uses it to mature us. And He uses our work to reach people and communities. When we work, we taste the goodness God intended for work in the beginning.