September 17, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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In part four of our series, “Relationships and the Gospel,” we examine how the gospel impacts our work as well as our relationships with our coworkers and those in the world! Discover how work is part of our purpose as people and how it has a divine purpose.
Icebreaker Question: What’s your dream job?
In this section, we’ll
Memory Verse of the Week: Colossians 3:23–24 (NIV)
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
How are you doing in “keeping it together” at work? For many, work is just a thing they have to do; they don’t find any joy or satisfaction in it. In fact, statistics show that, sadly, anywhere between 60–80% of people dislike their job.
Often, we believe switching jobs or careers is going to make all the difference. “If I could just quit my job that I hate and get _________ job at _________ company, then everything would be different and I’d be happy.” But the data doesn’t support this. This can lead to a lot of frustration and the feeling of being lost and stuck. But what if the problem isn’t the job? What if it’s not about the employer, the boss, the coworkers, the tasks, or the pay? What if the problem is in our expectations and approach to our jobs?
“I should find my fulfillment in my work.”
“My work is where I find my purpose.”
God has a purpose for your work—for where you work and who you work with. However, your career doesn’t define your purpose.
It doesn’t matter if I work as a food server, a CEO, a social worker, a pro athlete, a teacher, a missionary in Iran, a customer service rep, or an electrician? No.
It doesn’t matter how much social influence I have or how many followers I have? No.
I don’t have to change jobs, get married, or have two kids, a dog, and a white picket fence to fulfill my purpose? No.
I can accomplish my calling, live out my purpose, and find meaning and fulfillment in any situation? Yes!
Now, please don’t misunderstand, if you’re miserable at your job and dread going to work every day, it’s perfectly okay to pray about a career switch. But please don’t expect to switch jobs and suddenly find that everything in life will magically fall into place if you’re still living out a purpose that isn’t all that unique, individual, or personally crafted; a purpose you can accomplish at any job, in any neighborhood, city, or country, whether you’re married or single, with kids or without, rich or poor. In order for things to change, you must live out your TRUE PURPOSE! But what is that?
The Westminster Shorter Catechism sums it up beautifully and briefly: “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
Over and over again, the Bible shows us that human beings were created to bring glory to God, to exalt and enjoy relationship with Him. We were made to know Him, be known by Him, and make Him known! There is no higher calling or greater purpose. And this purpose can be fulfilled regardless of where we are.
Are you working in a job that you don’t find fulfilling? Find your fulfillment in Christ Jesus and view your workplace as your mission field and a place to glorify the name of the Lord Jesus. Friend, until you find your fulfillment and satisfaction in your relationship with Jesus, no dream job or relationship, no amount of money or pleasures will ever truly satisfy (John 4:1–42; John 6:22–51). Trust in the Lord, trust in HIS purposes and plans, and trust that He has positioned you where you are to serve Him, be His ambassador, and walk in the good works He has prepared for you!
Below, you’ll find some key discussion questions to personally reflect on and/or discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends.
Discussion Question 1: What do you do for work? Describe one challenging aspect of your job and an encouraging one.
Discussion Question 2: How would you say being a Christian impacts your work?
Discussion Question 3: How can you build gospel reminders into your daily routines to help you remember the purpose for your life and work?
Discussion Question 4: Do you find it difficult to submit to those in authority over you at work? If so, how come? How can you strive to obey them “with sincerity of heart” (Colossians 3:22)?
Discussion Question 5: Does the way you work commend the gospel to others? Is there anything about your work habits that work against your evangelistic witness?
This week, be intentional to pray the Lord will use you to be His ambassador at your workplace. Pray for the people you work with by name and for the Lord to be your source of fulfillment.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.