Have you ever said that?
Ever felt that about a job that you’ve had?
It’s usually something beneath your incredible talents, or a job that has very little social status attached to it, or something that you just don’t like doing. A close friend of mine has some great ideals about rejecting the “American Dream” of wealth and security, choosing to identify with the poor and disadvantaged. But, he had to get a job to support his family so he applied to work for a web company. He didn’t much like the job, thinking that he had sold his soul to have an income.
Funny, though, he was good at a job he didn’t like, and just got promoted. “It’s just a job,” he said.
Here’s the deal, though. According to the Creation accounts in the first chapters of the Bible there is no such thing as ‘just a job.’ Adam was given a job at the very beginning: to develop and manage what God had created. So, work was a good thing. It had a glory to it. Its potential was huge. Then we come to Genesis, chapter three, where Adam and Eve reject the gracious love of God, and everything gets broken – their relationship with God, with each other, with creation, and with work. Now sweat and thorns are part of the picture. It’s never good to choose an alternative to God. So, we have this conflicted situation with work. We know that we should be doing something that matters.
Confession here: baby boomers translate ‘what matters’ as to what brings us personal fulfillment. The previous generation translated ‘what matters’ as that which would provide financially for their families. The current generation seems to translate ‘what matters’ as that which plugs them into meaningful community. Whatever, we sense that there is supposed to be meaning attached to work. But, The Office has taught us that we're ridiculous if we take work too seriously, that work is the environment where fools are usually in charge. (It's funny because it is so true.)
But, the biblical story is not just about Creation and The Mess-Up (my theological term for The Fall), it is also about Redemption, when broken things begin to get fixed. Redemption is Christ making all things new. Even work. And it is so radical when it comes to work that even a slave has a new boss.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
How can your job best serve Christ?
How could Christ change your perspective about work?
If you are one of the many that do not have a job, how might Christ affect the way you look for one?