Think of the last sports competition you watched where there was a questionable call, or the last story you read involving some kind of cheating scandal. How did watching or reading about it make you feel—especially if it involved your team?
Today we’re going to explore another venue where the competition is pretty heavy and not always fair—our workplaces. What are some unwritten rules you face at your job? How do you work within—or around—those rules?
You may or may not have a good job, but there are always plenty of opportunities to let our jobs take precedence over our walks with Jesus. Even if your workplace is your home, you know this can be true. So let’s consider what it means to follow Jesus to work, and what that might mean for each of us.
Track down each of these passages, all of which have something to say about work. Then think through the questions afterward.
• Genesis 3:17-19
• Ecclesiastes 5:18-20
• Luke 12:15-21
• 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
• James 4:13-16
• Which of these perspectives—all of which are biblical—best describes your attitude toward work? Why?
• How would you reconcile these different perspectives?
Last Wednesday, we considered our attitudes toward money and the attitudes God wants us to have. Since work is where we earn that money, let’s explore that idea a little further:
• How do our attitudes toward money affect how we feel about our jobs? What other factors affect our attitudes toward our jobs?
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 (Colossians 3:23-24).
• How would “working for the Lord rather than for people” address the issues you face at work?
• Which problems, if any, wouldn’t it solve? What do you think God would want you to do in those situations?
• What changes would you make so “working for the Lord rather than for people” is something you really do?
Let’s get one more perspective on work, courtesy of Dallas Willard: “If we truly see [Jesus] as the premier thinker of the human race—and who else would be that?—then we are also in a position to honor him as the most knowledgeable person in our field…and to ask his cooperation and assistance with everything we have to do” (The Great Omission).
What would be different if you believed Jesus was smart enough to teach you what you needed to know at work? What keeps you from believing that—or living as if you believe it? And for that matter, what’s one question you face at work you’d like Jesus to answer?
Thank Jesus that he really does know everything—including the answer to every challenge we face at work, whether it’s moral, emotional, or intellectual. Ask Jesus to reveal just the right answer for each person in your group. Ask him to show all of you how best to model his love and wisdom in your workplaces. And may the Spirit meet and guide you in your workplace, no matter where that is.