Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling
My career path has taken some interesting twists and turns over the past 35 years in transition from real estate appraisal and consulting to ordained ministry. As is the case for all of us, I have had to press through personal losses and work-related stressors that have drained me of joy and strength and have spurred thoughts of quitting.
Thankfully, through the support of family and friends and the encouragement of God’s Word, I have persevered through each of those down times. Two key verses of Scripture that have inspired me along the way are Ephesians 2:10 (that I am created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has prepared beforehand) and Philippians 4:13 (that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me). They remind me that my work matters to God and that He will resource me with all that I need to accomplish His purposes in and through me. In particular, God will reveal the good news of His Son’s “work” on the Cross through my faithful commitment to my vocation. Pastor and author, Tom Nelson, sums it well:
The magnum opus of most of our lives will not be seen under the bright lights of visibility, but will be the extraordinary impact of our ordinary day-to-day life, faithfully lived in extraordinary ways. It is in and through our vocations that the love of Christ shines bright, and the gospel is winsomely lived out and persuasively proclaimed, and where God desires our good work to be well done. It is where our Sunday faith and our Monday work meet.
Nelson is not challenging us to try harder. He is talking about remaining faithful to God by working to the best of our ability in our given circumstances—even when we feel our work is insignificant or inconsequential. When we rely on God’s grace to show love and respect toward coworkers or bosses who don’t deserve it, or when we turn to God during difficult times and rely on His strength to keep us going, we will garner the attention of those around us. It is in those moments that “the love of Christ shines bright” through us. And that’s why our work matters!