One-third of our lives, at a minimum, we spend focused on building our careers. Whether you own a company, work for an employer, or spend your time and energy as a creative, numerous hours accumulate as you manage and balance the stresses of your career. The Bible clearly spells out best how to successfully fill this role.
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). God created and designed us to be productive. After Adam and Eve made the choice to eat from the tree God had forbidden, God said: from this day forward man will struggle in his work “by the sweat of his brow” (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV). The consequence of their disobedience created the conflict many experience today as they struggle to balance well the demands of their career.
Working, over the years, with many talented and successful individuals, I have come to understand the stress work creates in people’s lives. The real issue comes down to three points that affect our perspective and the challenges we face in aligning our lives with God’s purpose.
The first question people often ask at a social gathering is, “What do you do?” Our culture has created what we "do" as a means of measuring ones worth and value. Often, when the circumstances around our careers change the largest adjustment we encounter is letting go of an identity once associated with position or career accomplishment. When we no longer do what once defined us, insecurities arise as we search for authentic purpose. We must come to understand our true identity comes only through our faith in God’s grace and by the power of his death on the cross.
Driven individuals who become workaholics are often searching for affirmation and accolades they are not receiving elsewhere. Feeling happy and content with success is wonderful but it soon fades as the void in our lives can only be filled by an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Our world continuously tells us how much we make, where we live, and what we do creates the financial security we desperately seek. When we try to create security through our work and actions, we turn away from the faith God’s word challenges us to maintain. “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists, and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 10:6).
Remember, God “took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” God’s original plan was always for us to work. Our work is an extension of God’s call for our life. Whatever your Garden of Eden may be, God placed you where you are to have an impact in the lives of others far beyond the financial resources you may accumulate.
God deepens our faith as we recognize our needs are not met by the provisions earned through our own career efforts, they are met by God who is the ultimate source of all things. This truth is countercultural to what our world says. As our identity, affirmation, and security are found not in ourselves, but through faith in God. We must understand he has given us all unique gifts, experiences and a specific call for the purpose of glorifying his kingdom. We must follow Jesus’ model as we encourage, challenge, teach and lift-up others we encounter daily through the career God has called us to.
When we view our “work” through the “lens of opportunity,” God uses our faithfulness to have kingdom impact in the lives we touch. May the garden in which God has placed you give new meaning each and every day as you strive to be a conduit of his love and resources.
Guy Hatcher: The Legacy Guy® – is passionate about helping families plan their legacy. His book, Your Future Reflection: How to Leave a Legacy Beyond Money, is available at amazon.com. Follow him on twitter @guyhatcher or contact him at www.guyhatcher.com.
This article was used with permission from Crosswalk.com.