Grace at Work: Redeeming the Grind & The Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell. Crossway. 213 pages. 2022
This book was based on a sermon series delivered by the author at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, when he served at the church as Senior Pastor. You can watch those sermons here.
The book is designed to help us understand and more fully experience personal dignity and divine purpose in the varied jobs that we do to serve God and all that he loves. The author tells us that when we realize that every honest job exists on the holy ground of God’s calling, then we will rejoice in the mission we have at work. The author writes that Sunday is for Monday, and we are called by God to do his work not just in worship but in the workplace.
In this book, he emphasizes that our work is a holy calling where we honor Christ in everything we do – whether it’s a business meeting, an important project, or even a phone conversation. We bear the name of Christ and have obligations to reflect his character in the workplace.
The author writes that God’s people are being called to his mission not just in Sunday worship, but in the everyday workplace. God calls us to use the work skills, talents, and resources that he provides for extending the influence of the kingdom of God into every dimension of our lives and world. In the skills we express, in the products we make, in the way we work, in the impact of our labors on society and on the relationships affected by our work, we are instruments of God’s redeeming work in a broken world.
Among the topics that the book touches on are dignity, purpose, integrity, money, mercy, success, glory, humility, evil, leadership, forgiveness, balance, rest, and witness.
Below are 25 of my favorite quotes from the book:
- Ultimately, we do not serve a company or a boss or even our family’s needs, but our Lord, who smiles upon our labors, values our sweat, and dries our tears with the grace of knowing he will use every effort that honors him.
- Your work is your mission field, and because of that, there is a God-given dignity in what you do.
- When we begin to recognize that work is not evil but is actually something that gives our days purpose and our lives a sense of worth, then we begin to view our labor in a very different way.
- Work gives us dignity, because work itself is dignified.
- When we begin to understand God’s perspective on work, then we realize that it is actually a form of worship.
- God requires us to represent him with integrity, giving our energies and resources to the job we were hired to do.
- When we begin to see that there’s dignity in every vocation, we realize that every job has a purpose of serving others and bringing glory to God.
- When we use God’s gifts in the calling he gives us, we fulfill his purposes.
- Each Christian should be willing to ask, “Can I stamp Christ’s name on this product? Can I take Jesus with me on this job?”
- No matter how challenging or mundane our duties, our job is holy before God because it is contributing to the world he is building for his own purposes.
- You can be in an undesirable job and still do God’s work, because you’re not serving men but the Lord.
- God is calling you to a profession. His name is on you. Profess him in all you do. Honor him, and he will use your work for his purposes.
- The reason we know that our work honors God is that we who do it are made in the image of God. Because God so dignifies us, the work of our hands has dignity.
- If your goal is to bear Christ’s name in the workplace, as well as into the world, then you recognize that the measure of your success is how well you have magnified the name of Jesus.
- We are to take the features of his glory to every place we inhabit and to every job we do. As we express his character and care, our work pushes back the darkness of a fallen world and brings the glory of God to light.
- Our work is not so much ennobled by the tasks we do or the skills we exercise, as by the purpose God accomplishes through us.
- The world may not recognize the significance of our labors, but believers have the assurance that our jobs matter to God and make a difference in the lives of those he loves.
- Christ is present in us as we work, he is present with us as we work, and he is made present to others by our work.
- Not only missionaries and preachers, but all who labor with the intention to honor God through their business, skills, sweat, politics, creativity, and conduct are participating in the mission of God
- Each believer’s occupation and tasks are significant not because they receive the recognition and reward of the world but because we engage in them with a divine commission to glorify God through them.
- The true glory of many jobs is being faithful to God in them, despite the misery of them.
- A biblical leader is someone who uses God’s gifts to champion God’s cause regardless of personal costs or challenging circumstances.
- Biblical leadership exists for the benefit of others and requires understanding that God intends for leaders to be an instrument of his blessing in others’ lives.
- If my business decisions allow no time for counsel from God’s word or a Christian friend, then I am being ruled by a schedule that has put God on the sidelines of my life.
- Work is worship. If we work with diligence and care, our jobs glorify God.