Spiritual Formation at Work
By Susie Grade
There is so much written in the ancient scriptures about our work! Paul of Tarsus said:
“Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is not in vain.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
I used to think that my “work in the Lord” was just my church work. So, my small business work, or my working at home, or my yard work did not “count” as the kind of work Paul is talking about here. But my perspective on this has changed.
I’m starting to see that my “work in the Lord” is really about doing all my work — paid, or unpaid — with Him. It is learning to pray with every breath, with every dirty diaper, with every trip to the bank, and with every meeting, “God, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven — right here in my work.”
Sometimes I hear people ask, “How can I bring Jesus into my workplace?” Well, you don’t… because Jesus is already there. Jesus is every bit as present in your Monday through Friday job as he is when we gather in worship on Sunday. You will probably spend 40+ hours a week at work on average, and you will probably spend 1-2 hours a week at church. The goal is not to undo in the one hour at church everything that happened during the 40+ hours at work. The goal is also not to just increase our time at church. The goal is to learn to be with Jesus 24/7 because he is already there in our work, in our play, and in our worship. He cares about our work in the little “kingdoms” of Comcast, or Target, or Kaiser, or Facebook just as much as he cares about our time at church. He wants to see the big kingdom of God invade all these little kingdoms on earth.
In fact, our primary place of spiritual formation will likely be at work. Spiritual formation is the process of shaping our thoughts, desires, habits and choices. Everyone — Christian or otherwise — is being spiritually formed all the time. It’s not just an extra-credit deal for the super devoted. It is the most important thing going on. We can participate in our own spiritual formation through our mindfulness of our work as a holy space where God is fully present.
So today, when you go to work, remember that you never do that work alone. Jesus is present with every photo you take, post you make, meeting you attend, and meal you cook. May all that we do be to the glory of God today.
Susie Grade is co-pastor at Platt Park Church, a member of DIFW’s Church Partnership Network. PPC is in the midst of a sermon series about faith and work, “Thank God It’s Monday.” Listen in at PlattParkChurch.org.
This post first appeared in the Platt Park Church “Weekly Note” email. It was republished here with the author’s permission.