One of the greatest tragedies I see in the workplace is when people pursue a vocation for the wrong reasons. I’ve seen people put all of their time and energy into what they thought they should do, but it wasn’t their passion. This is just as sad is seeing someone pursue what they feel called to, only to be haunted by guilt and dragged down by heaviness because they feel they should be doing something else. This scenario happens way too often in the lives of devout Christians because somehow they become convinced that the only way to make a difference for the Kingdom is to become a pastor, missionary or non-profit ministry employee.
I’d like to set the record straight with some facts from Scripture:
- ALL work matters to God. He created mankind in His image to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). This is God’s mandate to work and create – in short, to do all kinds of work.
- God needs all kinds of workers to fulfill His purpose. Exodus 31:3-5 introduces us to Bezalel who God chose “and filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts.” God needs us to use the skills He has blessed us with so we all do our part.
We need pastors to lead churches where we gather together to worship. We need missionaries who go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel. We need non-profit ministries. AND we need architects, builders, manufacturers, sales people, lawyers, accountants, software developers and chefs, scientists and artists, and clerks and housekeepers, doctors and business strategists. We need a variety of vocations so we can reveal God’s goodness in all aspects of creation.
We need more people who do what God created them to do with excellence for His glory. Oh, and by the way – the marketplace just happens to be the largest mission field on the planet. You have an opportunity right where you are to be a light for the people around you. You have an opportunity to introduce people to Jesus. How? By living out your faith through how you treat people, the excellence you bring to your work, the way you serve others, and the joy you walk in even when chaos is wreaking havoc all around you. When people see that you’re different in these positive ways, they’ll want to know why. They’ll want what you have. And that opens the door for you to share the source of your joy, your peace, and your excellence – which is your faith in Jesus Christ.
If you feel called to the marketplace, I want to encourage you today to see your workplace as your mission field. There are many lost souls wandering around in office buildings and you may be the only light for many of those people. Do your work with excellence, with humility, with service and with joy. Ask God to open up opportunities for you to be the hands and feet of Jesus for people at work. When you do, you will experience the abundant life Jesus came to give you, which is based on partnership with him!