Here at The Stone Table, daily reflections on our work give us opportunities to celebrate its sacredness every day. Whether you’re a brain surgeon or sweep floors, redeemed by the Gospel, your work matters. Getting daily reflections on your work and hearing what the Bible says about work is a message so many of us never grew up hearing. So, when we see scriptures on business in the Bible and notice it being lived out well, we like to point to it and say, “Yes, please! More of that!“
Daily Reflections for Work #1: What the Bible Says About Work
The following email was sent to the parents of preschoolers at Kingsway Christian School in Avon, Indiana. One of the moms was so moved by it that she forwarded it to us. We thought it was worth reposting here on The Stone Table blog so you can see what the Bible says about the work we do every day.
Thank you to Shelley Notter for giving us permission to reprint this.
Try to see these scriptures from a business perspective and notice if the infectious joy of this email resonates with you:
Wow, what a wonderful morning! We truly have the best parents around. A HUGE thank you to [all our volunteer marketplace leaders]. We LOVED having you come to share about your jobs this morning. We learned so much and got to experience the inside of a fire truck and police car! We got to listen to each other’s hearts with stethoscopes and learn a new worship song. Not to mention, we had so many adorable community helpers today in class!
As the kiddos were traveling from station to station today, it really made me stop to pause for a moment [and think] about how we are all created by God for a purpose. Ironically, that purpose is NOT our occupation. Our goal is to glorify Him with all that He has given us.
So, no matter what your occupation is, it does not define you. You may feel that your job is boring or unimportant, but the truth is, your identity is not wrapped up in your career. Instead, do you know what your Creator says about you? Check this out from God’s very Word…
I am the Creator, and you are my creation. I breathed into your nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).
I created you in my own image (Genesis 1:27).
My eyes saw your unformed substance (Psalm 139:16).
I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
I know the number of hairs on your head, and before a word is on your tongue, I know it (Matthew 10:30; Psalm 139:4).
You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
You are more valuable than many sparrows (Matthew 10:31).
Your job is just your opportunity to shine for God’s glory. If you are a stay-at-home mom or Dad, work construction, handle money in an office, teach, or protect our city, YOU MATTER. Not because of what you DO, but because of WHOSE you are. Don’t forget it!”
Have a wonderful weekend!
I wish more kids grow up knowing what the Bible says about work, who’s the source of their identity. It’s great to see a local teacher knowing scriptures on business that translate to the sacredness of our Kingdom work. Planting seeds in those kids’ hearts lets what the Bible says about work resonate up to the parents.
Daily Reflections for Work #2: Titles & Dreams Didn’t Matter
The beautiful truth of what the Bible says about work is that all work can be sacred and meaningful. The Gospel redeems all things! Scriptures on business say that we are all called to faithfulness in our work, no matter what that work may be.
Today’s guest feature from Karen Cooper focuses on the legacy left by her father. His Depression-era faithfulness to the Lord showed clearly through his daily reflections in work. His forced career-path many today would find disappointing and difficult to embrace. Join us as we turn back the pages with Karen to see what faith and work lessons we can learn from the Greatest Generation.
It wasn’t the time for considering identity or calling. It was 1924, and all that mattered was finding work. Job fulfillment was not on anyone’s radar.
My Dad stood in bread lines during the Depression. As the eldest of ten children, he was in charge of his younger brothers and sisters. Forced to forfeit his own desires, he shared a bedroom with every new child that came along.
They were stacked three and four to a bed in a little two-bedroom bungalow. A big tub was dragged into the kitchen every Saturday night, where multiple children scrubbed clean one right after the other in the same once-heated, ever-murkier water.
Amidst all his relegated chores, a dream began to churn deep inside my Dad’s young heart. He set his sights on the ROTC with a pie-in-the-sky desire to be an FBI agent. But he only got as far as the uniform. After his picture was snapped at school, he came running in the door looking like a real live soldier, only to hear his father’s pronouncement of fate:
Quit school and get a job.
He was just 14, but this child needed to help make ends meet for the growing family. Dreams didn’t matter back then — only survival.
This seemed to be his calling: give up everything for everyone else. Work hard wherever you could find employment. He became the protector, provider, and prince of the family, the glue that held them together. He felt responsible for his siblings, especially after his mother died soon after her 48th birthday. There was no time for dreams of his own. By the time he was 19, his “career“ landed him in the machine shop at U.S. Steel in Chicago, Illinois.
He would remain there for 40 years.
No FBI career ever surfaced. One of the daily reflections for your work here is that my Dad didn’t find his identity in his job. He worked every day with all his heart as if he was working for the Lord. My Dad was thankful for employment with benefits while persevering through years of varying shifts and obnoxious co-workers. They didn’t have the best work environment. He didn’t find fulfillment overseeing many difficult machinists who tried to get by with as little work as possible. My Dad often told stories of corralling men asleep in restrooms and lockers.
It was far from pleasant work, but he was a faithful employee. Dependable to the core. If he wanted to quit, we never heard about it. How did he keep going when this kind of work indeed left him always unfulfilled and longing for more?
Dad’s identity was completely grounded in Christ.
He withstood life’s ups and downs because he was rooted in the immovable truths of the Gospel. His true identity wasn’t found at the machine shop or lost by his failure to become an FBI agent. That was never who he was. I believe his identity and his calling found fulfillment within the words of Jesus:
“Well done, my good and faithful servant.“
When we have our own daily reflections on our work, can we say that we find ourselves in the place?