The purpose of work

By Cole Strilzuk, Bethel Seminary St. Paul

As a Christian you might have heard any number of different perspectives on why we work, including but not limited to: working to make money so to donate to the church, sharing your faith with people at work, working to alleviate suffering in the world, being a moral person at work, or working to glorify God.  Like me, you might have asked which view is the most correct for me in my work?  However, this is the wrong question to ask, as the respective views are not right and wrong, but rather complimentary depending on the person and the situation that one finds himself in.  If we understand the different positions to be complimentary rather than at odds with one another, we can begin to develop a kingdom view of our work.  A kingdom view of work is one in which we see ourselves as the imago dei called to join God in his work of restoring all of creation to him.

At times God uses our work for us, to help us in sanctification.  Through our work God develops our character and transforms our hearts.  Often times in our work, we are purged of our selfishness and learn to serve the other.  In our work, we have a means by which we can offer our whole selves to God: mind, body and soul.  Other times God uses our work for others; to bring the healing and restoration of the Gospel to our students, clients, patients and customers that we serve.  Work is a means by which God works through us to feed the hungry, comfort the suffering, and give meaning and purpose to our lives.

Our challenge as the body of Jesus Christ is to restore a biblical understanding of work and bring revival to those around us.  Our work has been transformed by the power of the Gospel.  Our lives ought to be a reflection of this truth.  Whether we find ourselves in a manual labor position, a call center, a teacher or the CEO of a large company we are each called to serve obediently.  I know this to be a difficult task.  But moment by moment, day by day, we must continually pick up our crosses and join God in his mission of restoration and he will sustain us.

Image © Shaun Menary | Lightstock Photos

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