In my last post, I shared a bit of my work-journey. As a child, work was something you did your best to get through quickly so you could play. But by the time I was a teen, work was the answer—the path to the spending power, security, and worth I longed for. In this post a third way of approaching work is introduced: the way of faith.
Some Faith Background
As a child, Christian faith was assumed in our household. And, at least for my parents, was not separated from their work. They trusted in a God who literally cared about every aspect of his children’s lives. Work was part of their ongoing conversation with him and part of God’s will for their lives.
As a teen I questioned this childhood faith. I wasn’t convinced the “Christian” lifestyle would net out to “happy.” But in my early 20’s, exhausted by my worship of work and isolated by the relationships I sacrificed for my ambition, I embraced a pivot. (A pivot is when you realize that your assumptions are inaccurate and a course change is needed.)
Jesus’ words as recorded in John 17 drove the pivot. He is praying for his followers and begins by saying, “Eternal life is knowing You and Jesus Christ, whom You sent.” This was not a “be good” religion. This was not a “here’s a free ticket to heaven when you die” religion. This was real life, real time relationship with God (knowing as a state of being).
Ever since the pivot, I’ve had many roles: small business owner, consultant, coach, pastor, and non-profit program director. In each, the reality of relational faith transforms work. Work is not an evil nor a god. It is no longer a four-letter word, no longer the object of worship. Work is a fundamental good; part of God’s purpose for my life and an arena in which my firsthand knowledge of God can increase. Work as a place to meet God is work in its proper place.
Faith Provides the Third Way to Work.
Faith in Jesus was not something I embraced to figure out “work.” But this faith drives me to keep work in perspective. I find this to be an ongoing process as every turn in my work road presents new challenges to either loath or worship my work (sometimes both at once!). Marketplace Faith is an effort to share the process of unpacking this third way to work.
How about you? How does your faith shape the place of work in your life?
By Yulyasha (сфотографироваласама) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons