How Should We Work?
By TOW Project Steering Committee Member and co-Chair, Andy Mills
After more than 5 years working on the TOW Project's materials, Andy Mills developed the following perspective on what the Bible says about work. Although not an official resource of the Theology of Work Project, it is an example of how anyone can begin drawing larger conclusions based on the many resources developed by the TOW Project.
For a printable/downloadable version click here.
How Should We Work As Christians?
- The Big Picture: God created all things and He has revealed that, in His sovereignty, He is progressing created order through a process of Creation, Fall and Redemption. God’s created order started with the perfect garden (Garden of Eden) and will be consummated in the perfect city (New Jerusalem).
- Our Actual Work Matters to God Now and Eternally: God has chosen to create men and women in His image to, among other things, work and tend this created order for His glory and for the betterment of humankind. In ways we can’t fully understand, the good work we do now, done with and for Him, will survive into the New Jerusalem. Work itself has intrinsic value.
- Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:5 & 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-23; Ephesians 2:10; Revelation 21:24-27
- Calling & Talents: To fulfill this task, He has provided us all with unique skills and gifts, and calls us to particular roles and activities. Although the roles might have apparent differences in importance, our callings are equal. They are a spiritual calling. There are no second-class callings from God. We will be worthy of this calling if we are devoted in our relationship with Him and look to Him only for leadership and strength.
- Quality, Character, & Ethics: We are responsible not only for the quality of our work, but also for our faithfulness to God in the way we pursue that work, and for our own good character while working. We will be judged and rewarded accordingly. However, God is ultimately responsible for the outcome and impact of our work.
- Our Work Yoked with Christ: We should work as if yoked to Jesus Christ. The “foundation of His throne is Righteousness and Justice, with Love and Faithfulness going before Him”. Our work, and the decisions we make should be based on these principles: aligned with God’s moral standards, always concerned with the fair treatment of others and with a clear expression of Christ’s love for all people.
- Service to Others: Our work should be centered on service to others. From the products and services we provide, to providing fair financial rewards, and providing opportunities for others to exercise their gifts and talents. Our work is an opportunity to seek the peace and well being of our organizations, cities, and nations. Humility and gratitude should be the hallmark of our character. We should always acknowledge God in our work and consider that being an ambassador for Him is a weighty, but honored, responsibility.
- A Rhythm of Work and Rest. God invites us into a deliberate pattern of regular rest. These periods of rest are intended to be restorative and are also opportunities to intentionally take time to consider Christ and our relationship with Him.
- Wealth & Investment: We should allow God to direct the use of all that He has provided through our work for the betterment of others and the furthering of His kingdom. These provisions include our gifts, time, financial capability and influence.