Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Long Obedience ... The Practice of Work

"Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering." (Romans 12:1 - The Message)

Paul suggests that all the work we do ought to be an offering to God; not just our Christian service, but all of our work. In my mind, this makes all of our work into ministry. Not just our mission work - and not just those easily identifiable "ministry-type" vocations like teaching and nursing - but all of our work. I hear him including the work we do for pay in the public workplace, the work we do as volunteers in any arena, and the work we do in private for family and friends.

Do you think about your work this way?
In what way is your work ministry?
In what way is your work service to God?
In what way is your work service to others?

What difference does it make to you to begin to think about work this way?

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  1. Work? I am in the teaching professing, one of those jobs that naturally lends itself to a sort of ministry and yes I consider it that way almost daily. Of course I am human and have those days I would rather stay in bed than answer one more question or repeat myself one more time, but most days I am surprised I get paid for what I do.
    As a mother, I often find myself wondering how I can point my children to God more than I am currently doing. I ask myself things like How can I teach them to pray? or How can I hlep them know God loves them? Or how will they know they can talk to God about anything? I think raising children up in God is a ministry. THe Bible says it is in Proverbs. "Raise a child up in the way they should go and they shall never depart from it..." It is one of the reasons I bring the irls with me to church. Church is not an option, neither is school.
    I am quite sure I could improve my attitude about work being an offering or service to God when I am doing household chores such as the laundry or cooking dinner. I do not always, in fact, rarely, do I see these things as an offering. What if I did? If I did I suppose I wouldn't forget a load I put in the washing machine only to have to wash it again. I would hope I would be more mindful if I viewed them as an offering. Less hamburger helper, so to speak and much more steak.
    Rejoice always, is what I hear under the questions you are asking. Because that's how it would be if I truly considered all the work I do as an offering. If I truly beleived all the things I set my mind to do were a public display of my faith in God. I am sure I wouldn't grumble about tissues being left in my childrens pants now stuck to every towel I own. Perhaps I would be thankful for the extra time to pray as I pulled off each piece. Hmmm. What a challenge???


  2. Yes, I suppose I consider all of my work as an offering to God, or better yet an offering with God. As a farmer, I realize that God is with me in all that I do, so I enjoy working with God all of my days.

    I consider that most of the people I meet each day might not take the time to read the Bible or go to church, so I realize that God might be trying to reach them through me. I keep in mind that my attitude is most important if I want to have an opportunity to influence people for God or to pass on His message. The number one thing to remember is that if people won't come to God, God must meet them in their surroundings, the places where they feel most comfortable. That's why I believe Jesus went to the homes of the not so reputable. I notice that sometimes when we put on our coveralls and are out in the dusty old feed mill or in the grungy tire shop, words and attitudes can change, so I know that God's guidance and presence is absolutely necessary, a breath of fresh air you might say, in those places and situations. But people can tell very quickly if we are authentic, so we must always be aware of what we say and do. I just try to remind myself that whatever I do and wherever I am, the Lord sent me. If I take care of what he sent me to do, he will take care of all my needs!