This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.' Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NIV)
We began this devotional series considering the question of whether or not our work matters. Over the past few weeks, we found that the Bible’s answer to that question is an unequivocal “Yes!”
Our work matters because God Himself is a worker and we have been created in His image and likeness. Work is a part of who God is and, as such, it is a part of who we are. It is in our DNA. We work because our Creator first worked. Almighty God built a wonderful and majestic world full of potential. Then, He invited humans to harness that potential and work to move it all forward. God made us to be co-creators with Him. To be dreamers, designers, innovators, workers. This is our divine calling. Our work is not a meaningless means to an end. Our work has deep and eternal meaning and purpose. It is the space God has given us to bring glory to Him and to be a blessing to others. This is why we work. This is our calling.
Of course, our work yields a great deal of benefits to us and our family. However, these are simply inherent gifts of our labors. Financial gain, daily provisions, and cultural influence, are all God-given byproducts of our creative efforts. The ultimate reason we work is to honor our creator God with the gifts and talents He has blessed us with, and to have an arena in which we can love and serve our neighbors. This is true regardless of our work. Artists, engineers, doctors, pastors, and mail carriers are all called to the same undertaking: to make God’s name famous and make the Kingdom of God a reality for others to taste and see.
Now, with the confidence that our work matters and has purpose, let’s get to work! As we go off to work today and every day hereafter, may we be reminded by the Holy Spirit that we are co-creators with God Almighty in our own particular sphere of influence. Let’s bag groceries with a smile, working hard to offer shoppers a glimpse of heavenly joy. Let’s build honest, sustainable, beautiful products to sell and trade in places where we can be a picture of God to others. Let’s create business environments that truly honors and loves people for who they are, not only what they can produce. As we do these things, and myriads of other incredible things like them, the meaningfulness of our work will become readily apparent to us and those around us!