Transforming Ordinary People into Extraordinary Followers of Christ

Glorifying God in the Monotony – a post from Noah Winstead

I’m sure we’ve all been there before: caught in a summer job, long-term project, or class that feels exhausting. It brings no joy to us and sooner or later we all end up looking at the clock, hoping that it will just hurry up and end. Many times we find ourselves taking a minimalist position or finding ways to not show up to it at all. This feels natural and fine. We go to our jobs or do our homework to avoid getting fired and avoid being broke.

I’ve definitely been in this position. However, I want to look at work and try to understand what Jesus desires of our jobs. Here’s the question I’m trying to answer: how can we use our jobs and positions this summer to glorify God?

Good Work

Based on the story of the Garden of Eden we know that work is good in its purest form. So, this is good that we have summer jobs, right? What’s the problem with the way we work? I frequently find myself procrastinating on the job, hating what I do, and looking for ways to escape the reality of my job. For example, I typically leave as soon as I possibly can when the day is over. I avoid creating meaningful relationships with my co-workers when they’re so accessible for so many hours every single day.

I ultimately fail to show Christlikeness in situations because I’m so focused on the fact that I’m not having a good time. I’m sure that this is a shared experience for many, if not all of us.

While the Garden of Eden is an awesome place to explore the idea of work, I’d like to look at other scripture to interpret what God intends for our work.

God is the ultimate worker because He created the universe and He holds it together by his power, according to Colossians 1:16-17. First, God explains the majesty of His works in creation when He explains what it was like to create the earth. He says to Job in Job 38:4-7:

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?

Tell me, if you have understanding.

Who determined its measurements – surely you know!

Or who stretched the line upon it?

On what were its bases sunk,

or who laid its cornerstone,

when the morning stars sang together,

and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Not only should we believe that God took His work seriously because of how incredibly perfect the earth is. We should also look in wonder at how the angels reacted when God spoke creation into existence. As John Piper says,

“God cannot resist, it seems, mentioning what the mood of heaven was like at the moment of creation…All the angels had evidently been created before the universe…God meant there to be an audience when He created the world. I am sure He said, ‘Watch this!’ when He spoke the galaxies into existence . . . Imagine the awe and wonder that exploded among the angels.” Piper also says “Now I admit that God does not say explicitly in this text that He Himself shouted for joy…I think God told Job about the joy of the “sons of God” because sons get their dispositions from their Father.”

I am certain that God was overjoyed at His work in Creation. He approaches and completes the works of creation, salvation, and sanctification with ultimate joy that we never reach in our work or even in our moments of greatest elation.

An Audience that Matters

C.S. Lewis has some powerful things to say about work as well! If a group of explorers were to come to a previously never-seen valley full of beautiful flowers, would that beauty have been wasted because no humans had seen it? No, says C.S. Lewis, because God saw it and He enjoyed its beauty!

Piper even notes that since much of creation is “…beyond the awareness of mankind…it wasn’t created merely to serve purposes that have to do with us. It was created for the enjoyment of God.” Think of all the beautiful galaxies that hold millions of massive stars that are so far away we cannot observe them! Their beauty isn’t wasted simply because we can’t view (or even understand) them.

Our work should take note of this concept and we should take joy in working hard, even when no one will notice, simply because this brings joy to God. The beauty of honest hard work is never wasted when our true boss sees and values everything!

The psalmist says in Psalm 104:31:

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever,

May the Lord rejoice in His works.”

God rejoices in His works because they bring glory to Him. Shouldn’t we also rejoice in our works if we are properly using them to bring glory to God? That should be our aim in all our work and in all our struggles.

Finally, I’ll end this on an evangelical note. As J.D. Greear asks, “Is your work a theater for the gospel?” He’s asking if our jobs are a demonstration and outpouring of our faith that others can see.

Paul writes in Titus 2:9-10:

“Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.”

If Jesus came, not to be served, but to serve, according to Matthew 20:28, then we must have a spirit of servanthood to apply the Gospel to our jobs! That’s what it’s all about. It can’t be any simpler than us trying to be as much like Christ as possible if we are to glorify God with our jobs.

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