Work as Worship

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23 ESV

At the bookstore where I worked in college someone posted a sign that said “Put your ear to the ground, your shoulder to the wheel and your nose to the grindstone….now try to work in that position!” Overall, I think that describes Mondays. Work is hard and challenging, and so often it seems removed from any kind of spiritual formation in our lives (unless one considers the discipline of work to be formation). However, a proper attitude toward work indicates work is actually worship.

As we saw last Monday, God created us to work. As such, working with all our heart on anything is actually an act of worship. In my work, I serve as pastor of a small church. Many people tell me I get the privilege of serving God seven days a week while they only get to serve on Sunday. This attitude demonstrates a false understanding of the nature of work and God’s attitude toward it. Whatever we do, so long as we do it for God’s glory and pleasure, is worship. Teaching a class of kindergartners how to read, digging a ditch, filling out an expense report, managing a build-out, doing laundry, driving a bus, giving a sales presentation or busing tables…all of these can be worship when done to please the Lord and not to please our boss.

In that sense, work is one of the easiest areas to begin our spiritual formation. Simply by putting in a full day’s work and doing your job well, you are being formed into the image of Jesus Christ. In essence, you can have eight hours of spiritual formation today and be paid for it no less! Now that’s spiritual formation I can live with.

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