Thriving

We can thrive as Christian’s working in the marketplace.

We can perform our work with strength, confidence, courage and excellence knowing that we are loved by God.

We can choose to be faithful to God and loyal to our workplace even when there are things in our workplace that aren’t consistent with Biblical values. We can choose to seek the good of the people we work with, and the good of the organization we work for. We can choose to live as men and women of integrity. We can choose to wisely take advantage of each opportunity for personal advancement. We can choose to boldly embrace every opportunity God may give us to influence the culture of our organization. We can choose to lead in such a way that people will rejoice when we are leading. (Prov 11:10).

Discernment isn’t always easy. There are many dangers and risks to our walk of faith in the workplace. Pride or discouragement threaten to destabilize us. We may be tempted by the lie that we are unworthy and incapable, or be the tempted by the lie of selfish ambition. Therefore God surrounds us with wise mentors and leaders (not all of whom may be Christian) to provide wisdom; to encourage us to step out in faith at the right time; and to help us see our blind spots. God provides us with His word to guide us into all truth.

Work doesn’t always go well. Actions of loyalty, choices to pursue the welfare and success of the department or company may not always be recognized. However as Christian’s are motivation is not recognition by the world, but glorifying God.

When you live to please God, when you choose to do each task with excellence, God may choose to exalt you, or he may not … God’s purposes are beyond our comprehension.

Don’t fret when you see haughty eyes, lying tongues, hearts that devise wicked schemes, people rushing into evil. Don’t be disturbed when you are surrounded by false witnesses or persons stirring up conflict. The Lord hates all of these (Prov 6:16-19). God has proven throughout history that He is more than capable of dealing with these situations in His own way and His own timing. In humility ask God to accomplish His divine purposes in the midst of your workplace.

God works through our kindness, graciousness, loyalty, courage, ingenuity and diplomacy. With the craft and courage of Christian leaders divinely inspired coincidences can change the trajectory of organizations. Without divinely inspired coincidences all the wisdom of the world will not bring success. Prayerfully, patiently wait for strategic events controlled by God to bring a climax to the drama of your workplace.

As Christian’s when we adhere to Biblical values and Biblical wisdom; when we allow our Godly character to speak more than our words we will gain the favor of those around us. Through grace filled living we will be known as people of wisdom and righteousness in our workplace.

How can you seek the peace and prosperity of your workplace?

Can God Fix It?

Have you ever looked at the systems or processes at your workplace and shook your head? Have you ever watched people make decisions that protect their own interests? Have you ever been frustrated with work not going the way you want it to?

If somebody was to sit down with you and ask you to list three problems with your workplace, how long would you have to think before you could answer the question? When you have these conversations you run the risk of doubting God’s word even as Adam and Eve did.

Can God resolve these problems? 

Will God fix them the way we want them fixed?

“The Disaster”

Until that point in time every aspect of work was enjoyable. Adam got up every morning and together with Eve they performed the work God called them to do.

Suddenly a workplace disaster of cosmic proportions occurred. Satan commissioned Pride, disguised as a serpent, to interrupt Adam and Eve in their work. Satan’s words were enticing … “You will be like God”. Pride’s twin sister Shame, lurking in the shadows, watched with glee as Adam and Eve put aside their work, doubted God’s word, and succumbed to temptation. Sin had entered into God’s perfect creation.

Everything changed in that moment. Yet at that moment nobody stopped breathing. At that moment the earth didn’t stop turning or orbiting the sun. But the consequences of sin, of not trusting God, started to ripple throughout the world.

Work … Ravaged by Sin

From that moment forward all work was hampered by pain, thorns and thistles. Work was marred by frustration, lack of fulfillment and fruitlessness.

Apart from God, work became a means to find identity and self-worth. Unity and love was replaced with deceit, blame, manipulation, comparison, competition, disunity and strife. Work and God’s creation became a means to satisfying personal desires, controlling one’s destiny and accumulating power.

Could anything be done to remediate this catastrophic, cataclysmic event?

This wasn’t a situation beyond redemption! God’s didn’t pull out a contingency plan of the files to try and mitigate the damage. God didn’t invoke the angelic emergency response team. God in His sovereignty remained completely in control.

God’s Grace

God in his grace gave Adam and Eve the privilege to continue to be participants in his story. God in his grace, continued to allow His creation to be fruitful and multiply, although it would be painful. God in his grace, continued to offer provision for the physical needs for existence, although thorns and thistles wouldn’t make this easy. We see God in his grace offer provision for the emotional needs for survival as He clothes Adam and Eve covering their shame and nakedness.

God in his grace offers provision for the spiritual needs for survival through the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus. God in his grace offers in his perfect timing, hope for a future workplace in a new heaven and a new earth untainted by sin. God in his grace offers a path to unity with God and unity with other people.

God in his grace allows each person to accept or reject his grace.

This isn’t the storyline that Adam and Eve expected. This isn’t the storyline that anybody anticipated. This is God’s story!

The Story Continues

This story of grace is a story of redemption that continues to be played out today. This is a story that the angels watch with baited breath (1 Peter 1:10-12; 1 Tim 3:16).

This story of grace, this story of redemption continues in our workplaces today.

Your workplace is part of God’s story. God in his righteousness and grace is weaving your workplace into His story. Since you aren’t the author of the story of your workplace, this story won’t unfold the way you expect, but it will unfold in accordance with God’s grace.

If God can take the worst cataclysmic event in history and by his grace turn it into a story of redemption, what could God do in your workplace?  

Read Genesis 3 on BibleGateway #bgbg2

No Little Places

All work reflects the image of God in us. God wired work into our DNA. We need work to grow physically, emotionally and spiritually. Work is part of the blessing and the goodness of God’s creation.

God used his mind, his knowledge and his wisdom to shape every aspect of the universe. God has blessed us with minds and his wisdom so that we can seek out the ways His world works, and the ways of God in His world.

God was strategic in the way he created the world. He didn’t create the animals first and then wonder where to put them. When we develop strategies for our work we are reflecting God’s perfect planning.

Everything God created is unique. Consider the beauty of a flower or the variety of flavors of food that we eat. God trusts us to reflect his creativity in everything we make.

As God created the universe, he named the light “day’, and the darkness “night”. God calls each star by name. God gave us the privilege to name each animal, bird and plant, and to name our children. Like God, when we name something we are giving it the dignity God intended it to have, and describing its character.

God took the earth which was formless and empty and shaped it into this world that we enjoy, with all its processes, systems, and natural laws. When we take data, and present it in a spreadsheet, or take ingredients and serve a delicious meal, or lead people to finish a project in a structured and orderly fashion we are reflecting the enjoyment God takes in His creation.

God cares for each one of us. Each hair on our head is numbered. He knows our name. God cares for every aspect of his creation. Not one sparrow falls, or flower dies without God knowing. When we care or demonstrate compassion for others, we are modeling God’s compassion and care.

On the seventh day, God rested from his work. Rest … knowing your work is good; Rest … trusting that God will take care of you and your work.

There are no little tasks in God’s Kingdom. Each task has equal value in God’s eyes. Each task is needed for somebody to flourish. Each task is necessary for people to enjoy God’s creation. Each task is necessary to obey God’s command to rule over and subdue the earth.

Read Genesis 1-2 on BibleGateway

Stewards of God’s Creation

What command in Scripture were you obeying this morning when you went to work?

When we get up in the morning to go to work, we are heading out in obedience to God’s command in Gen 1:28 to fill the earth, subdue the earth and to rule over it. In other words every job, every task, or every good endeavor, that you do today, you are doing in obedience to God’s command to govern and be responsible for His creation.

Stewards of God’s Creation

When God created the world, he created it for you and me; and he created us to be stewards of His world. As God’s ‘vice-regents’ through our work we are have the privilege of entering into the story of God’s creative work. God created this world that at a macro level it would survive for millennia. At the micro level God designed the world so that it needs our continual stewardship.

God made each of us responsible to develop, care for, enrich, explore, cultivate and govern the corner of the world where we live. God expects and encourages us to maximize creation’s full potential through our work. It is the work of societies and cultures to help people thrive and flourish in God’s creation.

God provides all that we need for our work

God has provided us with everything we need to do our work. Starting with Adam, God provided a garden in a corner of creation, with water and animals and everything necessary to tend to the garden. Work was part of the blessing, the goodness and the environment of the garden. By working in this garden, Adam provided for himself and his family.

From that garden subsequent generations built the great pyramids in Egypt. Later the Greek and Roman cultures arose. From that garden today we have airplanes, trains, cars, medicine, the Internet, McDonalds and Starbucks. Each of these were forseen by God, at the dawn of creation, as ways that humanity would fill the earth, subdue the earth and to rule over it (Gen 1:28).

God provides barista’s with what they need to brew a cup of coffee. God provides chef’s with what they needs to create a delicacy. The chef and the barista provide opportunities for people to thrive and enjoy what God has created.

God provides project managers with the resources they need for their project. God gifted the people working on the project with the various skills needed to manipulate these resources to deliver the project. Through this project something new is created for the thriving of society.

God provides clues in creation for engineers and scientists to use to design new ways for people to flourish in God’s creation. This could be anything from new oil reserves, new energy sources, new technologies, using existing technologies in novel ways.

God places the receptionist in an organization to answer the phone and welcome people into their company so people can find their way within the corner of God’s world where that company specializes.

The choice

When God created the world, he said his work “was good”. Our universe is a masterpiece crafted by a master craftsman and artist, God. God worked for the sheer joy of working. As we do our work …

  • We have the choice to enjoy the world, the raw materials, the laws of nature as God created them;
  • We have the choice to enjoy the tools and processes and systems that others have developed from what God has created;
  • We have the choice to enjoy the skills of those around us
  • We have the choice to enjoy the fruits of our labor;
  • We have the choice to do our work in loving obedience to God’s command to be a steward over God’s creation;

How can you see your job as fulfilling God’s command to be a steward over His creation?

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