The Workplace, The Worship Place
Most of us compartmentalize our lives, we build firewalls to keep work separate from family, and worship separate from work. It is as if we live in a huge building in which each room represents a different facet of life, and most of these facets do not have connecting doors – we must go out of one room and go down the corridor to get to the next room. We live like this because we have been taught to live like this; it helps us manage our lives, it helps us avoid complications, it helps us wall-off stress – but it also causes internal and relational fragmentation, we become people with many masks – do people really know us? Do we really know ourselves?
The Biblical view of life is holistic, Biblical life is seen as an integrated whole which is grounded in God; God is the hub of the wheel and the life centered in God begins with worship. As the sun gives light and life to the earth, God gives light and life to all aspects of our lives…if we will let Him. God created humanity for relationship, and though we have marred that relationship through rebellion and sin, through Jesus Christ God our Father has restored us to Himself. The desire of God for us hasn’t changed since we were created, He wants relationship, He wants to spend not only eternity with us, He wants to spend today with us, and this brings us to worship for worship is the center of our relationship to God. When we worship God we acknowledge Him as our Creator, as our Father, and as our source of life. When we worship we give ourselves to God, loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and body.
But here’s the thing, if we live compartmentalized lives then we isolate worship to our Sunday morning experience and we risk closing God off from other areas of life, including our vocational life, including life in the workplace. For those of us who are married it is analogous to saying, “I’m married when I’m home and when I’m not home I’m not married,” for we are living as if we are saying, “I am a worshipping Christian when I’m with the church and when I’m not with the church I’m not a Christian who worships.” Just as our spouses do not want our hearts just some of the time, neither does God. Jesus makes it clear in John 4:23 – 24 that we can worship God anywhere, that our worship is not limited to certain places. This does not mean that places cannot be special, it means wherever we are we can worship.
Worship can take many forms, as our Sunday morning gatherings demonstrate. We are a diverse people and we have diverse ways to express our devotion to God and our love for Him. Paul writes in Colossians 3:17 that “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father though Him.” So while we may not take a hymnal to work and sing, we can dedicate our workdays to God and offer our words and deeds to Him in the name of Jesus – whether or not those around us know what we are doing. In fact, later in Colossians Paul writes, “Servants…whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”
In other words, our work is to be our worship, and a form of our worship is to be the excellence of our work. Our work product ought to be worthy of God; this includes our integrity, honesty, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and all the other things that go into what we do in daily life. When we serve others we are to do it as serving Christ; when others are served by us it is to be as if Christ were serving them.
The foundation of every day should be our worship, and all things that we build on the foundation should be consonant with worship, they should be true to worship, acceptable to God as an offering and as a testimony to others.
Have you thought about worship at work before reading this? Do you give thanks to God when you are at work? What are the challenges to that? How can you meet those challenges? Is the quality of your work worthy to be offered to God? Do you realize that you are serving Christ at work? How does He look at your work? If others were to realize that your work is an offering to God, how would they view the quality of your offering – would they consider it excellent or just enough to get by?
“Lord Jesus, help me to worship you at work, to be thankful to you, to do the best I can at what I do so that you will be pleased and also that the quality of my work will be a testimony to you. Help me to learn to offer myself to you every day and throughout the day.”