Whatever you do… (how would Jesus do your job?)

workplace

 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17

I remember working in a group home with some young men with developmental disabilities.  It wasn’t glamourous.  But I remember being able to find meaning in it when I decided to do my work “as a Christian”.  That didn’t mean a fundamental change in the tasks accomplished.  What that did mean was that I decided to do them for the Lord.  It made all the difference.

Dallas Willard even encourages us to see our daily work as a place of glory – an opportunity for discipleship:

Consider just your job, the work you do to make a living.  This is one of the clearest ways possible of focusing upon apprenticeship to Jesus.  To be a disciple of Jesus is, crucially, to be learning from Jesus how to do your job as Jesus himself would do it.  New Testament language for this is to do it “in the name” of Jesus…

But how, exactly, is one to make one’s job a primary place of apprenticeship to Jesus?…

A gentle but firm non-cooperation with things that everyone knows to be wrong, together with a sensitive, non-officious, non-intrusive, non-obsequious service to others, should be our overt manner.  This should be combined with inward attitudes of constant prayer for whatever kind of activity our workplace requires and genuine love for everyone involved…

But, once again, the specific work to be done – whether it is making ax handles or tacos, selling automobiles or teaching kindergarten, investment banking or political office, evangelizing or running a Christian educational program, performing in the arts or teaching English as a second language – is of central interest to God.  He wants it well done.  It is work that should be done, and it should be done as Jesus himself would do it.  Nothing can substitute for that.*

 

 

* Dallas Willard, The Divine Conspiracy, pages 285-286

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