OKLAHOMA CITY (BP)–“We’ll work till Jesus comes.”
I’ve sung that old gospel song for most of my life. When I’m busy on a project, I find myself singing or whistling the tune. For me, work is a positive opportunity. I like work.
We will work till Jesus comes.
God made people in such a way that work is something every person is equipped and gifted to do. Our work is important to God. Our work is as much a part of living under the Lordship of Christ as any other activity in life.
You might have to work in an ungodly environment where people exhibit their rebellion against God with their profanity, vulgar and racial jokes, raw office politics and/or pornography hanging on the wall or displayed on the monitor. However, we are called to bring light to dark places. No matter how vile a workplace may be, we can keep our conversations and behavior pure. Even when some co-worker’s performance is substandard, we can do our work with excellence, “as unto the Lord.” God gives His children grace to be godly even in worldly environs.
How is a believer’s approach to work different from those folks trapped in the world’s systems? From a worldly perspective, work has no room for God. It is just business. If a believer approaches work from a worldly perspective, he/she misses a golden opportunity for understanding that work is extremely important to God. God places value in our work. God places eternal importance on our faithfulness with the resources, gifts and responsibilities that He has endowed to us. That is one of the reasons God’s word admonishes, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat” (II Thessalonians 3:10). We are supposed to work.
God Himself works. Due to our own confusion about the character of God, we forget that God tells us He works. Look at the creation account in Genesis 1. Have you seen John 5:17? Throughout scripture, the truth that God is working out His purposes is evident in every book of the Bible. Furthermore, He is working “good in the lives of those who are called to His purposes” (Romans 8:28).
How our work connects to God’s purposes is not always clear. It doesn’t take much imagination to see that people who work in “helping professions,” like teachers, medical personnel, undertakers, etc., serve the Lord by alleviating human suffering. But suppose you are chopping cotton all day in this summer’s heat. How does that connect with the purposes of God? Or if you are doing survey work for the highway department, does God really care? Yes, He does. Just as He cared about the sheepherder from Tekoa named Amos, a political appointee called Daniel and the fisherman named Peter.
God uses the work of people to maintain and enhance the order of His creation. Consequently, the person who builds and programs computers is as important to God’s plan on planet earth as the surgeon who removes a cancerous spot from a man’s lung. All of life relates to God including our work.
Because work is important to God and is related to His purposes, it is very important for believers to determine that their occupations bring honor to the Lord. There are some ways to work and make money that don’t fit with the character and nature of God.
Not only must believers be careful with occupational choices but also with their compensation. Hard earned money is not to be used in a way that violates clear moral principles. Although we cannot control the reality of taxes, we have recently learned our government is using the tax dollars extracted from our compensation to take a joy ride on the slippery slope of bio-medical science. Consequently, believers must work to change the laws to protect human life from the embryo to the nursing home.
Because our work and our compensation are of worth to God, we must carefully screen what organizations we support with our dollars and time. Surely, no follower of the Lord Jesus would volitionally or by default send money to any organization that lobbies or provides abortion services or educates and promotes homosexual behavior. When it comes to the use of discretionary funds, the focus of faithful Christian stewards is on supporting those organizations that support things that reflect God’s character like life, liberty and integrity.
That’s why we must always support the freedom of conscience for working men and women. No company or any organization should have the right to force any worker to make a moral choice of support for an ungodly policy or practice. For example, suppose a company levies a fee from its workers to buy alcohol for a Fall Festival. Or the company collects contributions for an organization that promotes the homosexual agenda. Every worker should have the freedom to say, “Excuse me, not with my resources.”
On Labor Day, take time to pray and thank the Lord for the honor, the privilege and responsibility of work. We will work till Jesus comes.
Have a great day serving the Lord Jesus.
Yeats is the editor of the Baptist Messenger, www.baptistmessenger.com, the state paper of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.