Last week I wrote about how living in awe of God will change the way we approach the local church. Today I want to examine how our awe will change the way we approach our jobs. Both of these devotionals have been adapted from my newest book, Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, & Do.
During my years as a biblical counselor, I met with hundreds of workaholics and the families they left in the dust. I listened to adults who struggled to get out of bed that morning because they were so depressed at their unemployment. I sat with countless bosses and employees who either couldn't keep a staff or couldn't keep a job themselves.
These men and women were followers of Christ, members of a local church and readers of the Bible, but fundamentally dysfunctional when it came to their work. This shouldn't be surprising: because "the office" is such a significant dimension of our lives, it's very easy for our sin to infiltrate this environment. It impacts us in three common ways:
The office can make us feel able and competent. A trail of corporate achievement makes a statement about who we are and what we're are able to do. But the buzz of today's success will fade, and we'll look for the next mountain to conquer. Without realizing it, success will morph from something we enjoy to something we can't live without.
The Gospel says that our identity is never found in what we can achieve; rather, our identity is found in what Jesus achieved on our behalf. When you live in awe of God and find your identity in his saving grace, you'll be able to keep something like a natural hunger for success in its proper place.
In a world where most of us have so little, control is intoxicating. In the office, even if it's over just one person or project, we get to flex our muscle and command co-workers and budgets. But power hungry people create needless conflict and division. Look behind them (or us) - isn't there almost always a trail of ruined relationships?
When you live in awe of God's sovereignty, you're able to find true and lasting peace. By meditating on your Lord's dominion, you remind yourself that life is under perfect control, and that One of inestimable power rules all the things that you would otherwise want to rule in order to feel secure.
Our culture paints the good life with lavishly furnished homes, luxury cars, overflowing wardrobes and flashy jewlery. If money is the key to unlocking those things, and the office is the doorway to money, no wonder we spend the majority of our time there! But the created world can never satisfy our souls, so we'll continue to work harder and harder until we're addicted and in debt.
Looking to physical riches for satisfaction never works, but considering the riches that are now yours in Christ should leave you in awe. It's only when your heart is satisfied in intimate relationship with Him that you can be freed from looking for spiritual satisfaction in the fleeting pleasures of the created world.
To conclude, don't be afraid to be ambitious with your career; don't be afraid to take a role of authority at your workplace; don't feel guilty for enjoying comfort after a long day of work. But, don't look to those things for your identity. Live in awe of God and let that impact everything you think, say and do in the office.
P.S. - If you're interested in learning more about this topic, check out my newest book.
- How have you tried to find identity in business or career? How can you leverage success for the fame of Christ?
- How have you abused power at work? How can you be a better steward of authority for God's glory?
- How have you selfishly over-indulged in the creation? How can you be more generous with your time, money and possessions?