Understanding a Theology of Work

Os Hillman

When we think about a theology of work we need to consider some of the reasons why God designed work:

  1. To meet human needs.

    He gave everyone a unique DNA to pursue a vocation that would meet a human need.

  2. He wanted us to view our work as ministry.

    Work often involves serving others. The Greek word for service is the same word as ministry (diakonia) [51]. When we serve others, we are actually performing ministry to the Lord, even when it is a secular form of work.

  3. We are to view our work as worship to God.

    All of life should be conducted as a form of worship. When the Olympic runner Eric Liddell described his gift of running to his sister in the classic film, Chariots of Fire, he said, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” We, too, should feel His pleasure when we work unto Him.

  4. We are to use our work as a platform to share the love of God.

    Our work allows us to build relationships with others to demonstrate the love of God to them in a tangible way. A popular saying states: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Building relationship with others is the first step to demonstrating the love of God to others.

  5. We are work to earn money to fund God’s work on the earth.

    For most of us, work will be the primary means of supplying our needs for food and clothing. Deuteronomy 8:18 tells us that God gives us the ability to create wealth in order to establish His covenant upon the earth.

  6. We work to care for the poor.

    When Boaz allowed the gleanings to be left behind from his harvest, he was establishing a kingdom principle for those of us in business. He allowed the poor to come and collect what was left. They still had to work, but the owner of the field intentionally left the gleanings for the poor [52]. Businesses should think of how this principle applies to care for the poor.

  7. We work to transform culture.

    From the beginning, God intended that man would reflect His glory through man’s work, that it might affect all of culture. God cares about our cities and nations and wants to see every person influenced for Jesus Christ.

  8. To bring glory to God.

    God takes us through the process of life and allows us to develop specific skills and talents for His purposes.

The marketplace is where many of us have the greatest opportunity.

  1. Compare Romans 15:31, “service” and Ephesians 4:12, “ministry.”
  2. Ruth 2:16
Reprinted by permission from the author. Os Hillman is an international speaker and author of 15 books on workplace calling. To learn more, visit MarketplaceLeaders.org



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