Being idle does not necessarily mean inactivity – a lack of productivity. It can be inactivity of the heart, an inability or unwillingness to see or embrace God’s purposes in the work he’s given us to do … a heart that denies the Christian responsibility to serve ‘as if you were serving the Lord’ (Ephesians 6:7).
The Bible warns against idleness in terms of doing nothing (2 Thessalonians 3:10) as well as doing something without the right attitude (Colossians 3:22-24). ?Having the right mindset is critical – it is an act of worship ultimately to our Lord Jesus, a place where we can bring him glory and be shaped more and more into his likeness.
So, what are the indicators of idleness at work? ?The authors suggest three:
- Your work merely becomes a means to an end – a place to serve your own needs
- Your work totally frustrates you – there will always be some frustration with work because it is part of a fallen creation but total frustration blinds us to God’s purpose in our work
- Your work becomes divorced from your Christian discipleship rather than a primary context for Christian growth, expression and worship.
All of these are indications of an imbalance in our spiritual life – our discipleship is not whole-of-life. ?Our faith is not impacting or intersecting with our work so that we, … find ourselves doing things at work that [we would] never do anywhere else – treating people with contempt, losing [our] tempers, stealing time or supplies, cutting corners or fudging what’s right and wrong.?
However, when we see work as an arena to serve and worship the living God, every task becomes an opportunity to show God’s mercy and grace and serve the king. ?We will indeed,?Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men (Ephesians 6:7)?
Take a moment to pause and think about your current work:
- Are you more prone to make it an idol or to be idle at work?
- What would change if you really believed that you were serving Jesus in everything you do including your daily work?
Murray Wright (03/11/2014)