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Who Are We Working For?

work Sep 06, 2021

Are we working for God or for man?

It is quite appropriate that we kick off a blog series about WHY I co-founded His Kingdom Matters on Labor Day 2021. This year, there is a critical shortage of workers globally that is causing a shortage of all sorts of products and services. According to Bloomberg (2021) food prices are increasing because there is a shortage of chefs, fruit pickers, servers, slaughterhouse workers, truckers, and warehouse operators. 

From a Biblical perspective, we are created to work. Pope John Paul II wrote an Encyclical Letter on Human Work saying, Work is one of the characteristics that distinguishes man from the rest of creatures” and the “Church is convinced that work is a fundamental dimension of man’s existence on earth” (pp. 5, 11).  So, the big question is “why are we not working?” 

I remember a time in life when I was divorced with two young children and a job that barely paid the bills. I was encouraged to sign up for government assistance to help me pay for food and daycare. That feeling that I had in the pit of my stomach and that lump in my throat is still as real today as it was 20+ years ago. I did not want to take a government handout to help me pay my bills. It was a matter of pride and a matter of me being an able-bodied adult that could live independently. This sense of self has gotten in the way over the years, but I still feel strongly that those of us that can work manually or intellectually, should work, and that those government handouts are not to be used unless it is a worst-case scenario. 

Genesis 1:28 states, “Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” The Pope explained that “Man is the image of God” and that these words in Genesis indicate an activity for “man to carry out in the world” (p. 12). Scripture tells us that “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). We, as human beings, were made to work. Above the call to work, we are also called to honor and glorify God with all that we do, including our work (1 Corinthians. 10:31, Proverbs 3:9, Colossians 3:17). 

This realization of working for God and not for man was an early part of WHY I co-founded His Kingdom Matters. The faith at work movement, as some call it, was infused in my academic journey in 2014 with a class called Organizational Spirituality. This class was a pivotal point in time for me as I started to question if my work in a secular financial firm mattered. The following books are a good starting place for those of you that want to learn more.

At the same time of this class, my church encouraged us every Sunday to go and be the Church the other six days of the week. For me, I questioned if this meant I should leave my workplace and start working in ministry. I remember thinking about the way I felt at church a few hours a week as opposed to the way I felt at my cubicle 40 hours a week. I liked the feeling of being at church much more than the feeling of being at work. But I realized that I could merge the two and do my work at the financial services firm for God. This radically changed the way I thought about work.

I encourage you to pray on this and consider how you can honor and glorify God with the work you are doing this week.

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