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God at Work?


Issue 092

Would you, just for a moment, suppose that there is no God? Let’s suppose heaven is vacant. What effect would it have on your work? First I would suggest it would affect your sense of identity. You would have to conclude that you and your colleagues are no more than elaborate complex collections of chemicals temporally energised for about seventy years or so. You may be no more or less valuable in work than anyone else, but your value is totally and absolutely relative. There are few higher reasons to treat anyone well than simply for your own benefit, and if someone fails it’s only natural to let them go because we are all ultimately expendable. There cannot be any ultimate meaning or purpose to what we do because we have to make meaning  for ourselves. We are the highest form of life on earth,  the chief executives and we have to write the script.

One of the logical behaviours at work, if there is no God, is to be as self- centred as it’s possible to get away with; to be as happy as we can be, knowing that life is short. So we must store up as much money and security as we can for ourselves and our families, because no one else will, and when we retire and subsequently die – that’s it, as it was for all those before us who are dead and gone. Let me summarise for you a world with no God: A godless heaven looks down on a soulless earth with a lifeless past and a meaningless present and a hopeless future. The only certainty a parent can offer a baby that is raised from the cradle is that one day someone will lower them into a grave.

Now you tell me – do you want to live and work in a world like that? When the pictures we paint are too small to include God, our work becomes selfish, soulless, meaningless, Godless and lifeless – even our good works and kind acts. No wonder David the poet said, “The fool saidin his heart, there is no God”. And Daniel the leader said, ”’there is a God in heaven”’ Don’t be fooled this week, nor lose hope.


Psalm 14:1

1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

Daniel 2:27-28

27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.

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Module: 7
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Tags: atheism, behaviour, hope, identity, meaning, perspective, purpose

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Geoff Shattock

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