Is There Eternal Value in Secular Work?
"I feel that my investment of time and energy into making money for a corporation is a waste of my time. I want my time to have eternal consequence."
These words felt by many today feel the call to greater commitment to Christ but believe their secular work is a distraction to their call. We must realize the danger in this belief because it represents an unbiblical view of work and ministry.
God has called you and I, first and foremost, to a relationship with Him. We are called to Someone, not something. This relationship is to be nurtured and lived out in the marketplace of life. There is no sacred and secular in the eyes of God. In fact, the words work and worship come from the same Hebrew word, Avodah. God sees our work and worship as the same. God calls us into the secular arenas in order to bring His love to that mission field of life where many that you associate with will never hearken the doors of a church. You are the "church." Someone once said that we are to witness to others, even if it means opening our mouths from time to time. Our life is the most powerful witness. Our mandate is to reflect the love and power of God in the day-to-day trenches of life.
There are times when God may call us into "vocational ministry." But these are rare. He has equipped you and I with gifts and abilities in the workplace for the purposes of providing valuable services to mankind while building relationships with those who are headed for hell if we do not become the lifesaver in their life.
William Wilberforce was known as the George Washington of humanity in England. He was responsible for eliminating slavery in England after 50 years of work. He was responsible for 69 world-changing initiatives that changed England and the world. At age 25, he came to faith in Christ. He almost went into the "ministry" until converted slave trader and author of Amazing Grace, John Newton, challenged him to stay in politics where God could use him most. Fortunately for us, he stayed in politics.
Another fallacy about our work is that we work in order to afford us to minister. No, our work IS our ministry, even if we never say a religious word during our day. It is all about abiding in Christ and allowing the fruit of our lives to come forth in a natural way. Be at peace with this knowledge that your work can be a sweet smelling fragrance to Christ if done with the right motive and attitude.
"If we are rightly devoted to Jesus Christ, we have reached the sublime height where all that is noticed is that the power of God comes through all the time -- where we can peel potatoes properly or wash heathen children for the glory of God. Remember, anybody can shine in the sunlight or the footlights." - Oswald Chambers
"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Col 3:17
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward." Col 3:23-24