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Issue 023

Here is a question which plagues many Christian at work: What is the eternal significance of what I do? Behind it is a belief that ministry-type activity such as caring for Christians or evangelism has eternal value, but my ordinary work will just fade away. People often end up saying “I want to give more time to the Lord’s work,” or “I do this for a living but the real stuff happens in the evening or at weekends.” The result of this kind of thinking is that you can often feel that your work doesn’t really count at all;that it has no value. If this is your feeling then here are a few suggestions: God has worked to create a world which will not last forever. He still looks upon it as good and valuable. He declared it good when He made it and, apart from sin, it remains good. Just because something only has immediate value it doesn’t mean that God writes it off. This is very important because it means that your everyday tasks have value in their own right. The bank or the factory, the office or the school may pass away but what you do there now is intrinsically valued by God. It is a myth that the only work God values is work related to eternity. When Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus he told them that God will reward everyone for whatever good they do. This promise is in the context of work. Doing good at work – whatever good and whatever work – will be noticed and rewarded by God. Behind this and other words from Paul is the view that your attitude and workstyle is included in God’s view of your work. Even if your work is temporary the results for you are permanent or eternal. Again it is right to be involved in a system which generates food, housing, clothes for you, your family and for others. Wealth creation matters, God cares about everyday physical needs in his everyday world. How you work and how you handle the fruits of your work connect you to God. Finally God cares about people. People will enter eternity. How you work and who you are at work will effect the eternal destiny of others. It’s part of the deal. God has commanded you to perform tasks at work that will enable others to encounter his Son. So whether it’s a mundane task, a complex project, a financial transaction or a people-centred issue, God cares. Providing physical resources matters to God. Maybe that’s why the New Testament says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart.”

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Series: -
Module: 7
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Daily Guide: No

Tags: meaning, people, value, workplace

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Geoff Shattock

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