Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

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Does God Value Your Work as Much as Those in “Full-Time Christian Work”?

Do you feel that the only work that really has value in God’s eyes is “full-time Christian work”, such as serving in the ministry as a pastor, or as a missionary? Do you feel that there is both “secular” and “sacred” or “religious” work, and that secular work is a necessary evil, just to pay the bills, support your family and church, but having no real value in God’s eyes? This “secular vs. sacred” view of work is a false one, though many people, if not most, believe it to be true. Hugh Whelchel, in his book How Then Should We Work, states that “Scripture teaches no separation between the secular and the sacred. No church-related work or mission is more spiritual than any other profession such as law, business, education, journalism, or politics”, or I would add any white or blue collar work, volunteering as a retiree, or being a stay-at-home Mom. God values our work, as long as we are doing work that is pleasing to Him. Continue reading

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A Morning Prayer ~ a Need for Workplace Grace

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this beautiful morning, and the good night of sleep you have given us. Use that sleep to refresh our bodies for this day so that we can serve you in our vocations and callings today.
We pray for our commute into the office, that we leave in plenty of time so that we don’t get upset when someone sits too long at a light that turns green. Help us to show your love on the roads we travel, giving other drivers the benefit of the doubt, even if it “wasn’t their turn” to go.  As we travel, prepare our hearts for the day ahead of us, and we lift up those we will meet with and come in contact with. You are sovereign and we are not. We don’t know what will happen today, but you do.
We pray for your guidance in the workplace today, no matter what our particular job is. Help us to treat others with kindness, so that they will see you through us. We want to shine your light in a dark world and point others to you, people who might never even consider going to a church on Sunday to worship you. Help us to use our words wisely. Perhaps those words will be used to encourage someone who is going through a difficult time. Perhaps our words will be needed as we lead others, perhaps providing constructive feedback. If so, let us do so with kindness. Help us to serve others in the workplace.  Help us to truly get to know our co-workers, finding out what it is that they value in their lives.  Use us for your glory.
Help us to make eye contact with those we pass by, offering them a smile, instead of ignoring them, or having our face in our phones. Give us patience to treat interruptions with grace, putting others needs in front of ours.
Help us to handle difficult people and situations that may come our way today with integrity. Help us to be honest, trustworthy and people of good character, admitting our faults, even when they could easily be covered up.
You are a worker too, and we are made in your image. So, help us to do our work well, with excellence and a positive attitude and approach, not to make ourselves look good, but for Your glory, because we are doing our work for You. We don’t want the credit for a job well done. No, all glory goes to You, who created us and equipped us to do our work.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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FAITH AND WORK: Connecting Sunday to Monday

Faith and Work News ~ Links to Interesting Articles

  • Rest ≠ Idleness. Watch this two-minute video from Courtney Reissig. She states “As a stay-at-home mom, it can be really hard to think about balance in the work of the home because we don’t have a boss.”
  • The Biblical Solution to Unproductivity and Laziness: Begin With Your Heart Motives. Lara d’Entremont writes “The truly productive person is motivated by a desire to deny themselves, serve others, and glorify God with their time. Because of what God has done for them (dying on the cross to give them eternal life) their primary concern is showing others that same love and glorifying God in that.”
  • Know Your Comparative Advantage to Make Better Decisions. Anne Bradley writes “Knowing your gifts and focusing on them is important for faithful stewardship. It allows us to specialize, especially with regard to things we produce and sell through our labor (our work). This specialization frees us from having to be good at everything and allows us to trade with others.”
  • Profitable Fails. David Murray writes “The basic difference between successful people and the rest of us is that they’ve learned to fail well. They humbly embrace their mistakes, use them as opportunities to learn, and persevere until each shot got them nearer the bulls-eye.”
  • Monday’s Preparation Brings Friday’s Success. Ron Edmondson writes “I find the more deliberate I am to pre-plan my day and week the more productive I feel at the end of the week.”
  • The Dangers of Success. Tim Keller writes “Success can easily cause us to forget God’s grace, because our hearts are desperate to believe that we can save ourselves.”
  • In this “Minute with Maxwell”, John Maxwell states that discipline allows us to have a life to do what we need to do, not what we want to do. If we cannot discipline ourselves, life will become hard for us.
  • Redirection Not Retirement. Peter Markgraaff writes “Retirement is an opportunity for a redeployment, a recalibration, a reset, revival, reform, and a new trajectory.”
  • How to Receive Constructive Feedback with the Gospel in View. Kristin Brown writes “Getting constructive feedback is going to happen. In more theological terms, it’s part of the sanctification process—being changed to be more like Christ.”
  • When the Gospel Invades Your Office: Tim Keller on Faith and Work. Matt Smethurst interviews Tim Keller about “working for the weekend”; how the counternarrative of the gospel addresses our propensity to idolize or demonize, to overwork or underwork; how to counsel discouraged employees; and more.”
  • Why Your Church Needs to Talk about Vocation. Amy Sherman asks “Why does it matter to have a strong theology of work? Why should congregational leaders help their flock connect faith and work? Why should we talk about vocation when there are so many other worthwhile things we could talk about, like evangelism or compassion ministry? Why does it matter?”
  • 17 Powerful Workplace Scriptures. WorkMatters writes “Many scriptures are found throughout the Bible that support the importance of our work to God. Each contain God’s wisdom and views about our work, the importance of our work, or how we should conduct ourselves while performing our work.”

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