Why Your Work Matters... and Why it Doesn't
- Thursday, August 30, 2012
Now that I’ve made a case for why work matters, I hope you’ll see the subtle difference when I say that...
2. What you do with your vocation doesn’t matter. Or, God will use you regardless of your career if you allow him.
When you understand that work in general matters to God, it takes the pressure off to find one specific vocation that brings God glory. Let me illustrate with an example of someone very close to me.
My mom, after decades of being a homemaker, recently decided to go back to work. She first stepped into her office role as a secretary and now works in H.R. When she first got to work she realized that some major organization needed to be done. She spent a lot of time filing, sorting and throwing away irrelevant papers and materials. She cleaned that place up! Her being gifted in organization has been a tremendous asset to the company. She is also an incredibly merciful person with a gift of hospitality. I’ve seen that shine through in her work as she’s thrown together an impromptu bridal shower for a coworker and handled delicate employee issues through her work in the H.R. department. I’m so proud her for using all of her gifts and skills to bless her office.
Suppose my mom decided not to take this job and stay at home. Well, she was using her gifts and skills at home just as effectively. She’s always been in charge of our family finances - keeping track of spending and savings, letting my dad know if they could afford to get a repair on the house or if they needed to pinch pennies one month. She wakes up in the morning knowing what’s for supper every evening - at least I always thought so! I can’t ever recall her turning down friends or family to come over and share a meal. God has clearly used her gifts in administration, hospitality and mercy in our house as well, and I’m just as proud of her work as a wife and mother as I am of what she’s done outside the home. Her work is God-glorifying and Kingdom-impacting.
It doesn’t matter what your job title is. If you’re doing exactly the thing you’ve always wanted to do, that’s great - keep bringing God glory in it. If you're not sure what you want to do and are jumping from job to job trying to figure it out, that’s great - do all those jobs to the glory of God as well. If you're stuck in a job you can’t stand, it might help to write down any ways you see your job impacting the Kingdom in positive ways. Whether you're working as a missionary overseas, in a cubicle downtown, or somewhere in-between, your work can and should reflect God’s glory. The challenge isn’t finding a job that glorifies God - the challenge is seeing how the work you’re doing already does.
Kelly Givens is an editor at Salem Web Network. She lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and enjoys reading, writing and spending time in the great outdoors.
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