I've been reading a pamphlet about work from a Christian perspective. Work may seem so mundane and regular, so normal that we don't really think through the workplace from a believer's perspective. John 6: 27 indicts us to "Labor not for the meat which perisheth but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life." (KJV). To recognize the reasons behind work can deeply affect our attitudes toward work and our attitudes at work. The pamphlet written by Ministry in the Marketplace quotes two reasons to work: 1) God commands it and 2) it is an environment where the Christian can represent His Lord. God may provide for our needs through our jobs but it is He who provides. If we get that confused then we may manipulate people on the job more than we minister to them.
The booklet cautions against letting your job become your identity. God never intended for that to happen. Our sense of worth is found only in relation to God. We are created in the image of God and He has decreed that those belonging to Him are of eternal worth. It is our being part of the family of God that gives us significance not how much money we make, what kind of job we hold or not even in the gifting God has given us. God calls us to work as unto Him. We work hard and with integrity but not to be fulfilled. We are to find our satisfaction only in Jesus Christ. Believers are encouraged to have a healthy dependence on God especially when it comes to work. It is so easy in our western culture to make making a living an idol. God alone deserves our worship. A wise person distinguishes between working as unto the Lord and working as though it were the Lord. The first glorifies God, the second usurps Him.