“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
– Colossians 3:22
Yesterday, we introduced the concept of avodah, or the fact that our work is both worship and service. Today, I want to give you three common attitudes that society holds about work that get “turned on their head” when we begin to let Jesus infiltrate our thinking about our jobs!
First of all (and we alluded to this one yesterday), there is the person who just lives for work to be over. We see this play out frequently, maybe even amongst our friends and family, when someone exists only for the weekend or for their next vacation, and they feel a sense of dread every time Sunday afternoon rolls around. Why? Because they fear that the next five days are going to be pure drudgery. Then there’s the workaholic (most of us know a few of these, too), who works from Monday to Monday with no break in-between. While it looks like sheer determination and dedication, people in this pattern are most often concealing deeper pains and hurts by making work their identity. Sadly, the years run together for such individuals and before they know it, their kids are grown, their lives have passed them by, and they have forsaken nearly every important relationship. Finally, there’s the person who wants to work but they can’t or won’t for whatever reason. This sometimes happens when young people get laid off or fired, when they have an injury, or when older people retire and then discover that they are bored and restless. However it plays out, individuals in this situation find themselves in a place of restlessness and maybe even despair, not feeling like they have self-worth because they can no longer do what they once did.
Friend, whichever of these scenarios you identify with, the Bible offers a solution — let your work, or whatever activity (no matter how seemingly insignificant) God has called you to in a particular season, be your worship. With this attitude, every stroke of a hammer is noble, the sweeping of every floor is passionate, and the changing of every poopy diaper is proud. With Jesus in the center, each little (or big) thing you’re elected to do is part of a life lived unto Him — it’s an act of service to His Kingdom! Change the way you think about these “little” things and I promise you, your entire life will be transformed! Isn’t that wonderful news?
Jesus, I ask that you would bring your power and purpose to every “little” thing that I do; may you receive it all as worship.
Do you identify with any of the attitudes towards work we talked about above? How can avodah be the solution?