Most of us have been wired to separate our everyday work lives from our spiritual lives. Theologians call this the sacred/secular divide or Christian dualism, our instinct to see our everyday work as a less-than necessity of this temporal life that is separate from our much more important spiritual endeavors.
I get the tension.
But what if we learned to see our everyday work as another outflow of our calling as believers instead of something less than that is interrupting what we are really supposed to be doing?
Look at Genesis 1:28:
Look at those two key concepts: Subdue. Have dominion.
Have you ever wondered why God didn’t build houses, create neighborhoods, communities, cities, and cultures? Why did He stop with the raw materials?
Because creating with His creation is what we were created to do.
A vital part of our human vocation is to partner with God in the ongoing development of His world, to bring together the raw materials God has made and shape them, grow them, and develop them into something more. We partner with God as his vice-regents, as stewards who are acting on behalf of our King. We make culture and care for God’s creation, including one another. From the simplest jobs to the most complex, our work is part of God’s ongoing work in the world.
The father of the Protestant revolution, Martin Luther, said it most succinctly: “God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid.” There are not many milkmaids in the twenty first century, but I could say it just as effectively using your work today, too:
God is providing housing through the vocation of the property manager.
God is educating children through the vocation of the teacher.
God is feeding people through the vocation of the farmer.
God is healing people through the vocation of the brain surgeon.
God is raising children through the vocation of the stay-at-home-parent.
God is keeping things ordered and sanitary through the vocation of the janitor.
How would it change your feelings about your job if you saw it like that?
Adapted from Missional Marketplace: Finding Your Everyday Work in God’s Eternal Plan. Available here.
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TTHIS WEEK ON THE WEBSITE:
ARTICLE: Won’t You Be My
The latest from our friend Kelly Delp challenges us to be good neighbors to those living all around us everyday.
VIDEO: There is Really One Vocation
Embracing our everyday work as a calling does not alleviate our obedience to the Great Commission.
PODCAST: The Complete First Season is Now Available!
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Accelerating the Great Commission through the Marketplace,
Erik Cooper | The Stone Table
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