Summary: Like everything else in life… God wants to redeem our relationship to our work.
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We’re continuing our series focused on Integrating Spirituality into Everyday Life… a journey
into discovering the spiritual significance of the various aspects and activities that we are involved
with throughout our daily lives. Last week… Living Spaces… where we tend to begin and end
our day. Today… WORKPLACE – where many of us spend most of our day.
This may involve very different contexts for each of us… from retail to real estate to
recreation, mechanical to medical, service to sales, entertainment to education, … house
building to homemaking… as well as home businesses.
> For those unemployed… it can be a part of one’s pursuit and future; for those retired, it’s a
major part of one’s life experience and investment.
Work, whether in its presence or absence, is a pervasive part of everyday life…usually the
focus of 40 to 50% of our waking hours… more hours than any other one activity in our
It’s not only central in terms of our time but also in terms of how we view ourselves…and
feel about ourselves.
• One of the first things we want to know about people is what they do.
• A person’s passing is often noted in terms of their workplace achievements.
> Work and worth, industry and identity, are very closely related in contemporary culture.
This leads to the dilemma of work
There are two forces at work regarding our work… neither of which we stop to think about or
Two ways we often relate to work:
We experience our work as DEFINING… and it’s given a dominating role…
and consumes spiritual life.
We experience our work as DEGRADING… and it’s given a negative
role…that conflicts with spiritual life.
The first force is one in which work dominates our identity… it sees work as offering itself as
the validating source of life…our means to accomplish something of meaning… and as such…
it can become CONSUMING and CONTROLLING of our spiritual life. The natural corollary is
to experience work as degrading and tends to negate work… we see work as merely a
necessary evil… something that CONFLICTS with spiritual life.
Like everything else in life… God wants to redeem our relationship to our work.
Let’s quickly consider a spiritual perspective… and then some of the spiritual potential.
I. Restoring Spiritual Perspective of our Work
"The Bible begins with the announcement, ’In the beginning God created . . . ’ - not ’sat
majestic in the heavens’. He created. He did something. He made something. He fashioned
heaven and earth. The week of creation was a week of work."
> In the Beginning . . . was work.
In Genesis 2. We find man in the Garden of Eden, man in paradise. And in
Genesis 2:15, we read this, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
to work it and take care of it.”
What we discover is that work is not the result of the Fall, that man in paradise wasn’t living in a
state of glorious inactivity. Paradise was not a perpetual vacation. Work was created before the
Fall. It was a gift.
There is no basis for a dividing of spiritual and secular. God’s commission to Adam and Eve to