Loving God and Neighbor in Daily Life, Part 2Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
The man answered, “ ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' ”
Yesterday, I began thinking with you about how we might begin to love God and our neighbors in contexts that we often consider to be secular (work, business, school, politics, etc.). I focused on what it might mean to love God and your neighbor in your place of work. I encouraged you to talk about this in prayer, asking for God’s guidance. I closed by suggesting two resources you might find helpful: Your Work Matters to God by Doug Sherman and TheHighCalling.org, the website that includes these Daily Reflections.
Before I move on to another biblical passage, however, I want to suggest one more practical step you might take if you are trying to love God and your neighbor in the context of your work. I realize that this is not necessarily an easy thing to do, especially when your work doesn’t have any obvious connection to “spiritual things.”
If you are eager to learn how to love God and neighbor in the context of your work, you cannot do it alone. Let me repeat: you cannot do it alone. The cultural tide carries all of us in the direction of dividing life into sacred and secular domains. Many businesses, perhaps fearing lawsuits, have made it seemingly impossible for a person of faith to live faithfully at work. Plus, centuries of Christian tradition that distinguishes between what really matters (church, personal discipleship, evangelism, worship) and what really doesn’t matter (work, business, government, institutions) have made it difficult to see all of life as an expression of love for God and neighbor.
But there is good news. In my work with Laity Lodge, The High Calling, and Laity Leadership Institute, I have become aware of many Christians who are tired of dividing their lives up into the sacred and the secular. They rightly sense that the God who created all things cares about all things. They want to love God and neighbor, not just in church or private life, but in all of life, including their work. As the younger generations of Christians enter the workplace, what I’ve just described will become even more true for millions upon millions of disciples of Jesus.
So, if you are eager to love God and neighbor in the context of the workplace, let me encourage you to find other Christians who share your passion. They might be colleagues at work. They might be friends at church. They might be people you meet at various “faith in the workplace” ministry events. Hey, they might be people you meet at Laity Lodge! If you can find at least one other Christian who wants to live out his or her faith in the workplace, that’s a start. You can meet with this person on a regular basis for conversation and prayer. You might want to read together some of the resources I have mentioned.
Many churches are beginning workplace-related ministries. Perhaps your own church, if it doesn’t have anything like this in place, would be open to starting something. It could begin simply, with a study, discussion, and prayer group. But the long-term possibilities are endless.
The bottom line: Find at least one other person with whom to share the adventure of discovering what it means to love God and neighbor in your workplace.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Do you know anyone who might be a partner with you in your effort to live out your faith in the workplace? Are you aware of any support ministries in your church or in your area that might encourage you to love God and neighbor in the context of work?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, today I want to pray for all of those who, in reading this reflection, feel both excited and hesitant. They sense that there is rich potential for loving you and loving others in the setting of the workplace, but they also sense potential hurdles and hassles. Give them confidence, Lord, to step forward in faith. Guide them as they seek to honor you in every facet of their lives.
In particular, I ask you to help them find fellow travelers on the journey of faith in daily life. Lead them to partners who can walk along with them, providing insight, discernment, support, and accountability. Help their churches to have a new vision for loving you and others 24/7.
Thank you, gracious God, for teaching us to love you and to love our neighbor, not just in special “spiritual” times, but all the time. Amen.