If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Romans 14:8, NASB)
Though I have never been a pastor, I know God called me to full-time Christian service. He has led, prepared, and commissioned me. He has given me a burning desire to communicate His truth in a way that is fresh and penetrating, yet practical.
As a result, I’ve spent my entire adult life employed by Christian organizations. I consider that a great privilege and joy. But that doesn’t mean all has been sweetness and light. My bosses have been thoroughly human. My jobs have been filled with stress, frustration, and unending setbacks. I have been unappreciated and treated unfairly. Often I have felt my employers were not worthy of the dedication I was giving. Many times I have feared that in the end, my efforts would prove meaningless.
Because of all this, I have reminded myself of the following over and over again throughout my working life:
I do not work for my bosses.
I do not work for the company.
I do not even work for the church.
I work for the Lord.
Do my bosses seem unfair and misguided? I do not work for them. I work for the Lord. Does my pay seem far less than I deserve? I work for the Lord. He provides abundantly for me, and I owe Him everything. Does my work seem trivial and meaningless? The Lord of the universe has called me to do it, and He feels it’s important. My work is a personal “Thank You!” to Him. I trust that He will bless it as a seed and make it fruitful.
During my frustrations I can lift myself and my job to Him. I can release them to Him knowing He has put me here. It is His work, and He is here with me. Such prayer helps me look in a different direction. It turns my heart away from my selfish interests and toward His purpose and glory. Doing the work then becomes a prayer in itself, a way of acting out my trust and love for Him.
No matter what your present job, use it to serve your Lord joyfully. Bring your work to Him, and do it for Him. He is a wonderful employer!
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.
(Colossians 3:23, NASB)