Monday, March 26, 2012

Christianity in a Secular Workplace - Part 1

I am reading a pretty heavy read right now, "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper. If you've ever read any John Piper you know his books require a lot of time and dedication to reading and understanding. So I've been reading this book for ages but it's so good. This is one point I feel like needs to be shared, and so I'm taking the time to paraphrase some things in this chapter for you. I hope it resonates with you and helps you.

Please note, he makes a point to say that some are called for "spiritual vocations" such as missionaries but that those people could not do their work without people in "secular vocations" working to support them. He does not at all have a condescending attitude towards secular work.

P.S. After writing this blog I have broken it into six parts so it's not as much heavy reading. Please read each different blog post, as it shouldn't take very long now that it's broken up.

The burning question for most Christians should be: How can my life count for the glory of God in my secular vocation?

1. We can make much of God in our secular job through the fellowship that we enjoy with him throughout the day in all our work.  We enjoy God's being there for us as we listen to his voice, and talk to him, and cast all our burdens on him, and experience his guidance and care. 1 Corinthians 7:24 says "Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God." When you are converted, stay in your job and enjoy God's presence. Christians don't just go to work. They go to work "with God." They don't just do a job. They do their job "with God."

One way to enjoy God's presence and fellowship is through thankful awareness that your ability to do any work at all is owing to his grace. All your skills that make you good at this particular job - all these things are God's gifts. To know this can fill you with a sense of continual thankfulness offered up to God in prayer. There are promises of God that you can take to work every day. Reading your Bible or knowing scripture is how God speaks to you through the day. He encourages you ("Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10), he reminds you that the challenges of the afternoon are not too hard for him to manage ("Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27), he tells you not to be anxious, but to ask him for whatever you need ("Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." Philippians 4:6), and he promises to guide you through the day ("I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye." Psalm 32:8).

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