Chapter 3 of?The Gospel at Work?(TGaW) explores the way the gospel should frame our approach to work. If, as Tim Keller says, ‘The Gospel changes everything’, how exactly does the gospel impact the workplace??
So, the TGaW asks this question: ‘In a world where most?people?think of their jobs as necessary evil or as a source of their?identity and fulfilment, what is it that uniquely brings meaning and purpose to their jobs as Christians?’
How does the gospel change our understanding of work? Firstly, because of Jesus’ work on the cross, there is no place for idolatry in work. Our work can never satisfy our deepest needs and longings – only Jesus can do that. ?Secondly, there is no place for idleness – if we belong to Jesus, every square inch of our lives comes under his Lordship.?
- You work for a new master – it is the Lord Christ you are serving! (Romans 6:17-18. Galations 3:26-29,Colossians 3:24)
- You have a new assignment – to love God and love others (Matthew 22:37-39)
- You have a new confidence – the gospel does not gove us a new self-worth but a new self confidence. ?’The point of the gospel isn’t how great you are; it’s how great Jesus is.and how deeply you benefit from his greatness … you are accepted, not because you are a person of worth and value, but because of what Jesus has done for you as a lost sinner.’
- You have new rewards – no longer aiming for money, status, power, fame, comfort but rather because, ‘… you will receive and inheritance from the Lord as a reward.’ (Colossians 3:24)
This new way of thinking about work (new master, new assignment, new confidence, new rewards) leads to a new freedom in the workplace:
- Working for Jesus gives you freedom to worship God through your work?– we want to please God though our jobs and we do this by the way we honour God in how we work and how we see God in our work.
- Working for Jesus give you freedom to serve others wholeheartedly – no agendas and a servant attitude,?
- Working for Jesus gives you freedom to trust God in your work – God is sovereign and uses all the ups and downs of life in the workplace to transform us.
- Working for Jesus give you freedom to rest from your work – whatever our tendency – idol or idle – the gospel gives us a proper perspective on the place or rest. We will not resist rest (when work becomes an idol) ?or see rest as the an end in itself (when we are idle at work), So we will set boundaries in our work (taking lunch breaks and vacations, not always checking emails, delegating carefully to others, making Sunday a day of worship and rest etc.)
- Working for Jesus gives you freedom to do your work well – ‘… free from the unsatisfying allure of the carrot and the painful whack of the stick.‘
- Working for Jesus gives you freedom to have joy in your work
So in summary, ‘You are now free. ?Fee from the need to secure self-worth through performance. ?Free from the fear you will lose what is most precious to you if things don’t go well. ?Freed from the mad dash to work, work, work without any rest – as if the world depended on your effort. ?Free to work before the King with joy, even if it’s not work you would have chosen for yourself. ?Free to serve others as you worship the King.’
?Murray Wright (03/11/2014)