Mondays, depending on who you are, either fills you with dread or joy. One thing is sure—the work week has begun and you must follow suit! This means getting your mind in gear in anticipation of the weekly rat race.
We are encouraged to get our minds in gear for the work-week by practising the art of compartmentalising. This includes, but is not limited to, switching off our ‘church minds’ because, let’s face it, Who ‘Church Mind’ Epp when it comes to the Monday hustle?
Often, we separate our lives at work from everything else – including our faith. It’s simply easier to navigate life this way, and quite frankly, it is somewhat more enjoyable. It is also hard to reconcile clacking away on a keyboard with the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ – it seems like a mismatch. It is easier to draw correlations between ministerial/mission work and our faith because it is largely centred on Christianity; but for the everyday 9-5 (or in Lagos 8-7:30?!), it appears the link is tenuous, at best.
Consequently, work is usually viewed as a worldly distraction or something to pass the time until the Second Coming. Sometimes, it is even seen as an elaborate process to support the church because God is not in the business of making money bags rain from heaven!
Whilst, this may not be entirely wrong, it does not get to the heart of what work is and the implications it has for us as Christians. Much like everything else, God ordained work. But more importantly, He ordained us to work; He created the world and made us stewards: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) We have been charged with the responsibility to be creative and productive (to work—and yes, this includes sculpting a vase, the spreadsheet report you’ve just complied and the tiles you have just had to polish! Since God ordained work, it is good and, more to it, for His glory! Work is therefore a marvellous thing!
For the most part, work rarely feels marvellous—in fact, it is sometimes frustrating, patience-testing and taxing. This is as a result of the Fall—a consequence of Adam and Eve disobeying God: “…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground…” (Genesis 3:17-19).
The good news is this: all hope is not lost. Sin has merely marred the essence of work; it has not destroyed it. This is why we sometimes love work because it gives us a sense of purpose and other times we hate it because it seems pointless.
Thankfully, because nothing is beyond the redemptive power of Christ, none of the work we do is ever in vain! “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). Therefore, we are called to work heartily as though we are working unto God! The Bible even encourages excellence in our work (See Colossians 3:23; Proverbs 22:29).
Thus, it is crucial that we understand that work, regardless of the sector, was created to glorify God. We must remember that our work is not our sole identity, nor our true source of satisfaction, nor our master. We are to look to Christ for all these things!
As we go about our work week, let us be sure to look to God for direction and sustenance—the author and finisher of our faith (and work)!