You Can Fail at Your Job: How to Glorify God in Your “9 to 5” Part 1
You Can Fail at Your Job: How to Glorify God in Your “9 to 5” Part 1 – by Brady Tarr
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.“
(1 Corinthians 10:31)
In today’s devotional, we will look at a topic that affects us all and is one that I hope is very practical as it impacts all of us every week.This devotional is the first of two parts where we will look at how we glorify God in our “9 to 5”.
And, for the purpose of this devotional, I’m going to define “work” as whatever you do during your “9 to 5″, your job” – not all the other stuff that we do.So, this includes lawyers, judges, paralegals, students, mothers, homemakers, pastors, etc.
My aim in this first part is not to do a full biblical theology of work, but rather to point out a few of the most basic and necessary points that we should all consider as we look at the fact that our work matters.
The first verse of the Bible speaks of our Creating, Working God.God works in Christ to bring about the salvation of His people and God works in creating a New Heavens and a New Earth.Our God works. And, in so doing we learn about His character, creativity, kindness, thoughtfulness, carefulness, generosity, glory and honor.God’s character is on display in the output of His work and also in the way He goes about work.
2)God calls and equips us to work
God created us in His image, and we are to live out that image as His representatives in bringing dominion to creation, by working.We see this in Genesis 2:15, where right after creating Adam, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”In our work, God has given us each a “plot of ground” – to take dominion over and to exercise authority over.Whatever you do, you are doing it as God’s representative.
3)God provides for us by our work
We also see that work is the normal mechanism that God has chosen to provide for our daily needs.Consider God’s kindness in creating us to work.Through work, God is caring for all mankind – by making it “rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.He was kind to allow us to image and represent Him even in the process of supplying for our needs.
4)Work is Cursed
Sadly, we learn in Gen 3 that because of Adam and Eve’s sin, Adam’s work is cursed, and for Eve child bearing will be painful. Work in this world can be hard, painful, and tedious. It can also feel futile: you mow the grass today it grows back tomorrow.You may win a case today, but lose a similar one tomorrow.Sin places a toll on our toil, and our work is limited in what it can accomplish, how long it lasts, and the satisfaction we can derive from it. “Meaningless, meaningless” was how Solomon described it.
5)We work as redeemed people [and therefore with Christian motives]
The good news is that as Christians, we know that we will work in heaven, and, in some sense, God has already started to redeem our work as Christians. We can work by faith for his glory, knowing that we “will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward” (Col. 3:24), even if it’s hard to define exactly what that reward will look like or be. And, we can take true joy in imaging our heavenly father in working as citizens of the Son’s kingdom, knowing that work won’t always be cursed.
6)Our work should be for God’s glory
In Colossians 3:23, Paul says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Furthermore, all of life is lived for God’s Glory – as “we live and breathe and have our being” because of God and for His Glory.We are on assignment from God in our work, and so, at all times, we are working for Him, and not simply when “someone’s eyes are upon us.”
7)Our work has meaning, purpose and value
Friends, your work has value, purpose and meaning – not simply because we can see how the widget we produce or the law we pass or the injustice we fight or the meal we prepare – has ultimate purpose, meaning, and value, butbecause work done in faith to God has value because we are ultimately doing it for God.There is tremendous freedom that comes with knowing this purpose; that our work NOW everyday is for God, and that one-day, we will work perfectly for our King!
“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men;” said Solomon in Proverbs 22:29.As we work for God’s Glory none of our work is “before obscure men” but all of it is “before THE King!”.
You can and ultimately will fail at your work IF you are not striving to glorify God through your work.So, our work and how we work matters to God; and therefore, it needs to matter to us.Whatever you do, do it for God’s glory not your own! (1 Corinthians 10:31)
By J. Sebastian Traeger and edited by Brady Tarr
Father, please cause our minds and thoughts to be consumed with a reverent awe of you and the work of salvation that you accomplished through Jesus Christ. May you help us where we are weak in our faith against sin and unbelief. Thank you for your grace and patience with us. Help us to forgive in such a way that models how we have been/are forgiven by you as undeserving sinners. Amen.
Powerful Sermon For Your Encouragement:
Jesus Didn’t Want to Die: Mark 12:32-42
Mission & Vision
Statement of Faith
CLS National Conference
The Christian Lawyer
Journal of Christian Legal
Cross & Gavel Podcast
Find a CLA Clinic
Find a Christian Attorney
Help with a Religious
Renew Your Membership
Partner with CLS
Find an Attorney Chapter
Find a Law Student Chapter