Since I was a child, I knew the importance of work. When I was about 12 years old, my parents opened up a restaurant. I remember working after school and on weekends to help my parents from the time I was in middle school until I graduated from high school with their business. I learned such a strong work ethic and learned very quickly that if I wanted something, I had to work for it.
As an adult, that work ethic has not changed but I’ve had to re-evaluate the ‘why’ behind the work. We all work because it helps us to pay our bills, take care of children and help our families. Research states that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. How we spend our time at work and even outside of work is important in shaping the life that we are called to live.
It’s easy to forget that our purpose is much bigger than what we do or the titles we possess. Making money is a means but it is not the end. Work can be a vehicle to build and utilize our gifts but ultimately, all that we do should glorify God. If we are going to spend so much time working, it is imperative that we seek God about our work.
For some reason, we tend to separate God from our work lives. It’s as if we go to church on Sunday and the rest of the week, we fail to recognize the role that God has in our daily lives and interactions, especially on the job. Many of us are miserable because we’ve sought human advice and instruction instead of seeking God—even in the very mundane tasks that we encounter every day. How is God a part of your work life?
Scripture reminds us of the bigger purpose for work:
- “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need,” Ephesians 4:28. Work is not only for us but a mechanism to use our resources to bless others.
- “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you,” John 6:27. We are not only working for just a life on earth but one that will allow us to ultimately reside with God in eternity. Is your life one you can be proud of? One that God will acknowledge because you were a ‘good and faithful servant’? (Matthew 25:23)
- The ‘Parable of the Talents,’ in Matthew 25:14–30 tells of a master who was leaving his house to travel. Before leaving, he entrusted his property to his servants. According to the abilities of each man, one servant received five talents, the second had received two, and the third received only one. Each one of the servants doubled what they were given with the exception of the servant with the one talent. He chose to bury his without maximizing what he was given. How are you multiplying the gifts, talents, and resources God has given you? Are you burying them in the ground waiting on the perfect opportunity to walk into your purpose or are you trusting God to multiply what you have in faith?
- “Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done,” Genesis 2:3. If God understood the importance of rest from work, are you, too, taking the time to rejuvenate? Rest is essential not only for our bodies and minds but to hear from God.
We can be too busy that we miss the divine opportunities. Proverbs 8:12 talks about wisdom which comes from God. In this wisdom, God can give knowledge of witty inventions. Are you missing the great idea because you are too busy with many good ideas? Work can be a gift but don’t miss out on the many gifts God gives for us to live a life of abundance in not only work but in time with God, play, and rest as well.
(Dr. Froswa’ Booker-Drew is the host of the Tapestry podcast and the author of three books for women. She is also the vice president of Community Affairs for the State Fair of Texas. To learn more, visit <drfroswa.com>.)