These are the notes I will be using for the Sunday School Lesson tomorrow. I am doing a four part series on When Work and Family Collide. I am feeling pretty convicted on this subject right now since I am traveling a lot and missing some of the things going on at home.
Andy Stanley, Northpoint Podcast “Taking Care of Business, Part 1: Meet the Boss”
Andy Stanley, Choosing to Cheat – Who Wins When Family and Work Collide?. Multnomah Books. 2003.
· Describe your first job.
· Describe the worst job you ever had – what made it “that bad”?
· Describe the best job you ever had – what made it “that good”?
· How do we view work? What are the important elements of your “job”?
· How does God view work? (Genesis 2:8,15)
o Work for man was not a product of The Fall. It existed prior to The Fall.
o When God had everything perfect, 1st thing he did for man was put him to work.
o When earth was perfect, mankind (the image of God) was working – as a gardener.
o God loves it when we work!
We tend to place more emphasis on the “where” and “how much” aspects, while God just wants to see us work – where we are, whatever you do.
Paul addresses work in his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 3:22-4:1).
· Who does God address first? —–Slaves
o Colossians 3:22 – “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.”
o Basically tells the slaves to be the best slave you can possibly be and work as if they are working for the Lord.
· Who does God address last? —–Masters
o Colossians 4:1 – “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven”
o Basically tells the Masters to be fair and good to their slaves because they too have a Master over them.
· In between these two, he addresses us. In reality, aren’t we all somewhere between Masters and Slaves in our jobs?
o Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart”
§ “Whatever” is significant. It means what you are doing right now – not your dream job, not when you get to start your own business, not after that promotion you think you deserve, not once I get to leave my job and work in the home raising my kids.
§ We want to raise our hands and ask for a pass – Look at what I do, God? “All my heart”? Come on, All I do is ______. The people above me don’t put their heart into it, why should I?
o Colossians 3:23 continued – “As working for the Lord, not for man”
§ What does “working for [the] man” look like?
· Do as little as you can to get by, unless someone is watching.
· Appear to be very busy, even if you aren’t.
· Appear to be indispensible to the company, even if you are not.
· Take credit for as many ideas as you can.
· Jockey for position.
· Look at employer as source of income and source of security.
§ This verse gives us a new standard – Do it as if you were working for God. You are working for a big Boss in heaven, not for [the] man.
o Colossians 3:24 – “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward”
§ Paul pulls us into a broader context. As Christians, you will give an account for every single part of your life to the Lord. We are rewarded for all parts. We want to say, “I will put my whole heart into my family, worship, friendships, … but work? All I do is ______.”
§ God does not compartmentalize!
§ In heaven (when God makes all things perfect again – like it was in Eden) we will have jobs. We will work.
§ God is interested in our work. He wants to know who the faithful workers are that can be trusted with greater accountability later on.
§ WHAT YOU DO IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS HOW YOU DO IT!
· We focus on what and where
· God focuses on how and your diligence.
o Colossians 3:24 continued – “It is the Lord Christ you are serving”
§ Pretty blunt for those that haven’t understood the message yet.
§ We serve Christ in the job market, career, homemaking, WHATEVER.
Cool down: 4 Statements –
1. Your work has eternal implications even if it appears it doesn’t have any eternal significant.
· Everything has eternal significant – even though your “product” does determine eternity.
· If I were a doctor, pastor, missionary, …
· God loves to see you work.
2. How you perform at work is as important as where you work.
· This should be a very liberating statement. Is it?
· We are all focused on the “where” – we all have friends with better jobs, higher paying jobs, … the grass is always greener.
· God doesn’t mind you asking for a better job, but what about NOW.
3. How you perform at work is as important as how you behave.
· Have you ever run into the person at work that prides themselves on the Christianity they display, but at the same time feel like it’s ok to be a slacker.
· Poor workmanship is never balanced out by good character.
· “God doesn’t care about the secular world or the market place” – Yes, He does!
4. Putting your heart into your work allows God to bless your work.
· God does not bless disobedience.
· God won’t give you success in areas that you are clearly violating His command.
o Bless my marriage – Are you following the commands for marriage in the Bible?
o Bless my finances – Are you stewarding your money according to the principles in the Bible?
o Bless my family – Are you raising your family according to biblical standards?
o Bless my work – When you do your job with your whole heart, as if unto the Lord, you make yourself blessable.
· You can’t got to a job where you give half effort, ask God for something better, and expect Him to respond.
· Invite God into the areas that you want blessed. Think you will see a difference in the way you operate in those areas if you truly invite God in?
For one day this week, show up to work and work at it will all your heart, as if working for the Lord.
Think through what this looks like:
· When would you arrive?
· How quickly would you respond?
· How long is lunch?
· Where would you go?
· What does break time look like?
Try it and be ready to discuss it next week.