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Work: What For?

‘Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ Colossians 3:17 NIV

Here’s a solid way of summing up what the Bible says about the meaning of work. After World War II, Dorothy Sayers wrote that work should be the ‘expression of man’s creative energy in the service of society.’ God says in Genesis 1:26 and 28 that we’re to ‘rule’ over the earth, or exercise ‘dominion’. Maybe those words sound a bit like ‘dominating’ or ‘bossing around’. But the truth behind them that Dorothy Sayers saw is this: you’re here to plant and build and write and organise and heal and invent ways that bless people and cause God’s Kingdom on earth to flourish.

That’s a stunning call. Not only is it how Jesus lived His life, it’s also among the first things God ever told the human race to do. As God’s image-bearers in His world, we carry on God’s pattern of work—that making everything ‘good’ in the eyes of God that we see in Genesis. ‘So,’ pastor Timothy Keller says, ‘whether splicing a gene or doing brain surgery or collecting the rubbish or painting a picture, our work develops, maintains, or repairs the fabric of the world. In this way, we connect our work to God’s work.’ That’s the meaning of work.

Not sure what career is for you? Here’s a challenge for you then: ask a few trusted friends to give you an outside opinion on your talents. A good way of doing this is asking them to do a ‘SWOT analysis’ on your personality—that’s to identify your Strengths and Weaknesses, and see the Opportunities and Threats facing you.

SoulFood: 1 Sam 1–3, Matt 22:34–46, Ps 59:9–17, Prov 16:23–26

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2016

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