What has the Bible got to say about your job? Tim Chester explains how the gospel transforms our view of work in this highly recommended book - Gospel Centred Work. Check out some quotes below:
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1 - God is at work
In your workplace, the Father watches over you, the Son stands beside you and the Spirit lives within you. God is at work - at work.
2 - Too busy
Don't tell people how busy you are, because what they'll hear is "I don't have time for you"
3 - Needn't vs Shouldn't
Think in terms of saying "needn't" instead of "shouldn't". "Shouldn't" is the language of legalism and legalism is never good news. But the gosple not only tells us what we should and shouldn't do, it also gives us the motives and resources to live the good life. It offers us a bigger and better life than the false promises of sin. So we can say more than "I shouldn't lie at work". We can say "I needn't lie at work, because I have a Father in heaven who cares for me" or "I don't need to prove myself, because I have God's approval in Christ".
4 - Prospering at work
Joseph prospered at work because the Lord was with him. that didn't mean everything was straightforward for him - after all, he did end up in prison. But the knowledge of God's presence and blessing enables him to keep his integrity and to fulfil his work well. God continued to be with Joseph and prospered his work. eventually Joseph became "prime minister" in Egypt, which enables him to save many people from famine. More than that, God used Joseph's work to preserve His people and the promise they carried of a Redeemer.
5 - Celebrating the world of work
It's important for churches to celebrate the world of work and to look for opportunities to support people in the pressures that work brings. This commitment to work shuld be reflected in our mission strategies, our expectations for workers, our application of the Bible, our prayers, the people we interview in meetings, what we celebrate and how we illustrate our sermons.
6 - Attitude to authority
Our attitude to authority, the way we treat colleagues and clients, our punctuality, our kindness (especially to those below us in the hierarchy), our conscientiousness and our integrity - all will commend our Saviour. Often we don't see much change and we can think we're not making much difference. But our impact on people can be profound.
7 - Frustration
Sometimes we find great delight in work - that's work as God intended. But often we find work frustrating - that's what work has become as a result of human rebellion against God.
8 - Not saved by work
If activity leads to identity, then I can be saved only if and when I do good works. But it's not my works that make me who I am, but God's work. We are God's handiwork.
9 - Work and rest
In the Bible's vision of life, work is just one way in which you can serve God. Rest is another way. We both work and rest to the glory of God.
10 - Fulfilment
Many people reach the top of their profession only to discover it doesn't bring the fulfilment they expected; because although we are made to work, we are also made for more than work. We are made for God Himself, and work can never be a satisfying substitute for God.
11 - No right to job satisfaction
People today often seem to think they have a right to a job that is pleasant and fulfilling all the time. They become indignant when life isn't like that. They're like Christians who expect God to make them healthy all the time. We live in a fallen world that is not yet redeemed. So we should not be surprised if work is often boring or frustrating. We will face the temptation to be idle, to opress others or to treat work as an idol. And even if we are able to resist those pressures, we will undoubtedly experience all those things among our work colleagues. The answer is to have a gospel-centred understanding of work, as a good thing ruined by the fall. And to set your sights on the new creation, when work will be a genuine delight.
12 - Failure at work
If we see work as salvation, as the means by which we will find identity or fulfilment, then failure at work will be a devastating experience.
13 - Work is a good thing
So work is commended in the Bible as a good thing. Work is not a necessary evil we have to endure. It is both a privilege and a blessing. This is why we find satisfaction and fulfilment in work. To work is to be part of what it means to be human.
14 - Work to rest or rest to work?
Some people rest to work - the only value they see in rest is making work more productive. Some people work to rest - the only value in work is earning an income to enjoy leisure. But according to the Bible, work is good and rest is good. Scripture commends hard work (Proverbs 6v6-11; 2 Thessalonians 3v6-13). But it also commends rest (Exodus 20v8-11)