Theology of Work

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Ah, social distancing. An introvert’s dream and an extrovert’s purgatory.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, all of our lives have been drastically changed by the realities of the first global pandemic since 1912. Likely for most of us, one of the areas that has been affected is our work. Many of us have now shifted to working from home, or at the very least shifted to working in a way that keeps us distanced from people.

For Christians, I think this can present an especially difficult challenge because many of us have ministries in our workplaces. We are investing time and energy in our coworkers because we love them and want to see them come to experience the love and hope offered in Jesus.

I think for a lot of Christians, the ministries we have in our workplaces are actually such a big part of our day-to-day lives that the loss of social interactions with the people we love and are ministering to can cause the rest of our work to feel mundane at best and pointless at worst.

If you’re in that situation I want to encourage you with this reality: God is still glorified just by you doing your work.

Now, if you’re like me you probably just read that statement and thought “I know, I know. I can still glorify God by doing my work well, ethically, etc.” But I want to challenge you to realize an even deeper truth about work.

We were created for work. We were created for other things as well, but certainly God intended us to work just as He works. Work is a good part of God’s design that was created and instituted before sin ever entered the world.

Look at Genesis 2:15:

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

In Genesis 2 we see God create man and then immediately place him in a garden that he is intended to work and to keep. God always intended for man to have meaningful work to do. In Eden, Adam was glorifying God by the very act of accomplishing the work God gave him to do. There weren’t other people around for him to minister to. It was Adam and his work, and God was glorified in the accomplishment of that work.

So if you’re reading this and dreading going to work from home or virtually yet again, just remember that the Lord is still glorified by us doing our work even when there isn’t anyone else around for us to minister to. Work is a good part of God’s creation. It has been corrupted by sin for sure (that’s what makes it hard), but work in and of itself is a good gift given to us by the Lord.

I hope that as you continue through this strange season of social distancing that you’ll be encouraged that even in isolation the Lord is still glorified in the work you are doing.

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