This week we’re looking at being transformed vocationally.  For most of us our vocation, what we do for work, doesn’t particularly thrill us.  If you believe Gallup, 51% of us aren’t connected to our work and another 16% are “actively disengaged” and do more harm than good while we’re there.  That means for 67% of us work doesn’t exactly light us on fire.  So, big problem, but how in the world did we get ourselves into this mess in the first place?  Proverbs 3: 5-6 advises:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.  Good advice and some I wish I would have heeded.

I don’t know if you’re like me, and for your sake I hope you’re not, but I’ve chosen many, many jobs because I just needed a job, oh, and the money.  Many of us don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing what we do for work.  Our best hope is to find something in a field that’s generally interesting to us, where we have some abilities and where our co-workers are tolerable and the culture isn’t toxic.  We make our decision, sometimes out of fear, and then we try and figure out how we’re going to like our job.  Based on the statistic above, clearly we don’t succeed more than half the time.  So, by now, you may be wondering, ‘How does God fit in to all of this and how in the world am I going to be transformed in this vocation in which I find myself?’

Colossians 3: 23-24 offers this:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Paul offers the people in the church at Colossae a purpose.  Work for the Lord.  Now, I know the pragmatists among you may be thinking, ‘But the Lord doesn’t sign my paycheck’ and you’re right.  The boss or your supervisor may not be the easiest person to get along with and yet you have to work for them.  Jesus’s brother, James, wrote this about tough times: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  (James 1: 2-3)  Struggle shows us what we’re made of, who we are and ultimately whose we are.  As we occasionally have to grind things out at work imagine how we might persevere if we kept in mind we were working for the Lord.  If we kept in mind that our toil was for Him and the product of our efforts (the money we make) was to do good works, to take care of his children and our own, how much more engaged would we be?    Everything comes from God, even that paycheck.  Deuteronomy 8:18 confirms that: But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. 

Once we produce that wealth we all have a plan in our head about how we’re going to spend it.  Proverbs 16:3 tells us, Commit your work to the Lord, and then your plans will succeed.  We’re invested in those plans because work takes the majority of our time.   It’s no wonder we’re attached to what we get in that paycheck.  We can’t change work.  It will be what it is.  It will take the time it takes so we can’t avoid the time commitment, however we can direct to what we commit that time.  Ultimately those plans come to fruition if our work is committed to God.  To do that, we must change.

A wise man once told me regarding work, “It’ll never love you back” and he was right.  We must follow our hearts and our hearts must belong to God.  He made us after all and if we’ve been in this life thing and this job thing long enough we know we’re not a match for it.  We need his wisdom and we need his help if we’re going to be transformed.

For a bunch of reasons, work is a big deal in our lives.  Unless we involve our Father in it we run the risk of having it run us, perhaps right into the ground.  My encouragement is to bring God into this biggest time commitment of your life and search for his wisdom about how to look at it.

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