How many of us Christians struggle with trying to have a strong work ethic in our secular environment?
I certainly do!
From several verses of Scripture we as Christians often contrive on standard of work ethics.
- Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men
- I Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Based on these verses I seem to come up with a standard of perfection – thinking that I must do everything just right in order to glorify God and be a good Christian witness in my work. Through this work becomes burdensome and stressful because I am always trying to finish my work on time for clients, trying to attain perfection in all the jobs I do and trying to minister at the same time. I end up feeling like a failure in all areas.
Faulty perspective of my responsibility
Perhaps it comes from a faulty perspective. For some reason I seem to think that God depends on me to make people see Him through all I do. At some point in my life I embraced perfectionism as a God glorify attribute. Thinking that if I could do everything right for everyone, with a smile, they might see the joy of God in me. Yet all this seems to bring is added stress. The world sees enough stress in others therefore I imagine it doesn’t help them see God in my life if I am always stressed out about finishing the next job.
I have been asking God what the solution to this problem would be. (Yes, it finally dawned on me that I don’t have all the answers)
In the silence of my work room, with only the sound of the sewing machine humming as I sewed up a seam, I sensed an answer from the Lord that I had been waiting to hear. A practical answer – one that I have heard in church – read in Scripture – yet the out working of it just never seemed to be a reality in my heart.
Focus on Christ First – all the rest of life with fall in behind. Abide in Him because without Him I can do nothing! (John 15)
How does this happen I ask? Naturally it seems impossible – I feel like I have to be in control of all I do or else it won’t get done. If I don’t try hard at work wouldn’t I be a sloppy, lazy Christian?
When He is my focus, my all in all, somehow He will take care of the rest. No need to stress – to strive so hard – He is my rest.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7
This abiding doesn’t come easy, it relates to the pressures of time – our concept of who we are in Christ and goes against our very human nature. Born striving for control yet created with souls that need rest – only hidden while we abide in Christ do we become something in Him and He is glorified not because of the perfect work we did but because in some supernatural way the world sees Him in us.