“You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant…” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)
Monday morning – and a new work week begins. Sometimes I wonder if we fully appreciate how much the Bible has to say about our work. From the opening chapters of Genesis, where God instructs His image-bearers to be fruitful and subdue the earth…to the closing chapters of Revelation, where the children of God serve Him in the Holy City…with stops along the way to note that Jesus spent most of His life working – and that we are entrusted with spiritual gifts that make it possible for us to serve others…the scriptures remind us that work is holy and good and is one of the key ways in which we live out our calling.
Of course, we don’t always experience work that way. Work – like just about everything else in our lives – is impacted by the brokenness of creation that we call sin. And as a result, we sometimes get caught in situations where work is monotonous, or dehumanizing, or where it becomes solely about “making a living” rather than “making a life.”
However, as today’s reading from the Daily Office quoted above suggests, one of the more subtle perversions of work is the belief that it’s all about us: that our innate power, strength and/or goodness is the source of our productivity – and that the blessings we receive from that productivity belong to us by right; that is to say, “We’ve earned it.”
But at its deepest level, work is a gift. From the abilities that allow us to work…to the opportunities at which we work…to the benefits that we receive from work…from start to finish, work is a sign of God’s faithfulness and God’s grace. And seeing it as such not only equips us to approach our work in a way that makes it more of a blessing to ourselves and others – but also enables us to place our work within the context of our relationship with God, where it becomes an occasion for gratitude, for trust, and for the worship that happens when we offer Him our very best.
What will you be working on today? And what are some of the good gifts of God that allow you to work, that are part of your work, and that you receive from your work? Let’s “remember the LORD our God” in our work today, so that our gratitude and our joy will point others to His goodness.