SUCCEEDING IN WORK
Few people have jobs they would consider glamorous. Some have jobs they like — most days. And a handful despise every minute they’re at work. But we all have one thing in common: God wants us to invite Him into our work. If we take the focus off ourselves, off our earthly bosses and co-workers, and focus on working as if the rewards that truly matter are eternal, we’d have clarity and purpose that lightens the load.
Work through the following questions and Scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. Do you believe God is intensely interested in what you do for a living? Does your answer to that question change the way you perform at work? How so?
3. Read Proverbs 16:3. What do you think it means to commit your work to the Lord? How does that establish your plans?
4. This week we learned that although some people desire to achieve fame from their work, inviting God into our work can lead to significance. What do you think the difference is between fame and significance? What would aiming for significance look like for you at work?
5. Think about your time spent at work, the relationships you have there, and your perspective on your role. Having begun reflecting, what would you say work is helping you to become?
6. Is purpose more important than position or job title for you? Why or why not? What is your purpose?
7. Read Colossians 3:23. Pray about your attitude and outlook at and about work. Write a list of things you feel need to change, and commit to taking action starting this week. Look to your running partner, life group members, or friends and family for accountability. .
Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.
Colossians 3:23 – Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
To dig deeper into the topics of this week’s message, check out Tim Keller’s book on how God should be a part of our work, called Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work. On page 22 of the book, Keller outlines several ways we can glorify and serve God at work. Here’s an excerpt:
• The way we serve God at work is to further social justice in the world.
• The way we serve God at work is to be personally honest and [share Christ with] your colleagues.
• The way we serve God at work is just to do skillful, excellent work.
• The way we serve God at work is to create beauty.
• The way we serve God at work is to work from a Christian motivation to glorify God, seeking to engage and influence culture to that end.
• The way we serve God at work is to work with a grateful, joyful, gospel-changed heart through all the ups and downs.
• The way we serve God at work is to do whatever gives you the greatest joy and passion.
• The way to serve God at work is to…be as generous as you can [with the money we make].
As long as it’s not sinful, you can glorify God doing any kind of job. Don’t put too much emphasis on your status as an employee as it relates to society…Your identity is in what Jesus has done for you, not what you do for a living…There is no menial work. Whether you’re the CEO of a company, or you’re an employee at a restaurant, the status isn’t the big thing, but God’s glory is.
Keller’s book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work, is available at Amazon.com and other major book retailers.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES— gatewaychurch.com/spiritual_outcomes/ministry