|Pray | Lord, give us insight on how my faith should shape our work, because our work matters to you and to others.
This week in looking at work and its relationship to the fall in the Garden, we’ve seen that we’ve been working from the very beginning, and that work became more difficult after listening to the serpent. Limitations set by God are for our good, and brokenness causes us to ignore those boundaries creating difficulties in and between us. Today we’re considering how our faith can influence our work, and that if faith doesn’t, our work has the potential to destroy us.
|Read | Psalm 119:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Micah 6:8
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
|Reflect | Spend some time reflecting on one or more of the following:
Pastor and theologian, Tim Keller, in speaking on faith and work, offers four ways faith can serve us in our vocation. The first is faith gives an inner stability without which work can destroy us.
If our self-worth, importance, identity or competence comes from work, our successes go to our head and our failures go to our heart. If we are not absolutely certain of our worth, we’ll be whipped back and forth but faith can keep us grounded in the stormiest of times.
Faith reminds us of the dignity of all work.
With this truth central in our hearts, we won’t have a belittling attitude toward others’ work. The shutdowns during the pandemic revealed and reminded us of some of the unsung heroes in our midst. Our uplifting of them showed we valued their dedication and work, that their work very much mattered.
Faith gives us a moral compass without which work could corrupt us.
With so much pressure for profitability, and with culture leaning toward moral relativity, leaving our faith at the door may cause our clarity and conviction to become soggy and soupy.
Lastly, faith gives us a world view that shapes the character of our work, and without faith, our work could master and use us.
We might find ourselves giving more to our jobs than to our families, which in turn causes us to prioritize in a disordered manner, putting our best effort, energy and position toward work. Our work has the potential to shape us if we walk unaware of if we are shaping or being shaped by our work environment.
Though people can be difficult, and work is harder and slower due to a ground cursed with thorns and thistles, that’s not all we’re left with, we have faith. Faith gives us hope in all circumstances, so let us not leave it at the door as we finish our prayers, begin our day and enter our work.
Does my faith shape my work, or am I being shaped by my work? If so, how? Am I certain of my self-worth and identity outside of my job or role?
Written for Five Oaks Church Daily Life Devotional
Link here to the second message in a four part series on Faith and Work
Pastor Jonathan Haage // (message The Curse of Work begins at 16:12)