Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The quality of my work

Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.
Proverbs 22:29

Pay attention to your work. The quality of what you do for a living matters. Those who do their jobs well will be noticed... if not by corporate structures, then more importantly, by God. The injunction in this proverb is to do the best work possible. It is an important part of living a wise life.

Work existed before sin existed. So I conclude that work is a good thing that is made by God. After all, the rhythm of creation was that God worked for six days and rested on the seventh. Work and rest are fundamental aspects of creation. They mark our lives out as God has designed. God set an innocent Adam in the Garden of Eden to work there (Genesis 2:15). And that work was a holy command. It was only after the sin of Adam that work was also attended with a curse upon that sin. I conclude therefore that work is to be a holy thing, now often twisted by us sinners who alternately despise it as unholy, or exalt it to a point of idolatrous worship.

Because work is a divinely designed rhythm of our lives, it is rewarding and results in the blessing of God. One way in which it is blessed is by the livelihood that it brings us. God uses His creation of work to provide for us. The other way it is blessed is in this promise that good work is noticed by others and rewarded (that is a generalism... sinful humans make exceptions on the fleshly experience of our vocations).

But Christians keep one more focus to our work. It is good to be noticed by other people and perhaps rewarded for skillful labor, but that motivation is insufficient of itself. We must be gospel-focused. So we must remember the injunction to work for God's reward foremost. We work "heartily" (that idea of diligent, skillful labor that does the best we possibily can), as for the Lord (He is our true boss), and not for men (Colossians 3:23). There is only one performance review driving the Christian, and it is to hear "well done, my good and faithful servant" from the lips of Jesus.

No comments:

Post a Comment