Theology Thursday: Unseen Influences Beyond My Job Description

By Randall Downs, Faculty

Christian women having influence in the workplace

A wide array of emotions might arise whenever someone asks you about your job. Some of these feelings might include joy, pride, disappointment, stress, uncertainty or numerous other responses. When dealing with unseen influences that extend beyond a job description, one’s perspective concerning work is an important consideration.

Many people thrive in their places of employment, enjoying a sense of purpose, challenging work, financial security, opportunities to advance and/or workplace relationships. Others simply work for the weekend, pressing onward only as a means to a paycheck. You might identify with either of these options or even a combination of both. However, it is important to develop a biblical understanding of work before we continue forward.

A Biblical Perspective on Work Expectations

Colossians 3:23 (NASB) states, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people…”

This passage teaches a profound truth. Whatever (anything) we do is an opportunity to serve and glorify God. Therefore, in our jobs, no matter how important or insignificant they may seem, we are to work for the Lord. A right understanding of this truth helps transform our perspective and our priorities. Now, we can joyfully participate in lengthy meetings or finish large tasks with excellence because we recognize that Jesus is the purpose behind our hard work.

Proverbs 12:11 (NASB) says, “One who works his land will have plenty of bread, but one who pursues worthless things lacks sense.”

When reading this passage, one can clearly see a mandate to work. Not only does it honor God when we work, but it allows us to provide for our families and ourselves, and we are wise to do so. How do I know we are wise for working? Because Proverbs 12:11 teaches that those who do not work lack sense.

We could spend more time detailing various Scripture references that speak to the importance of work, as there are many, but we will move forward with the understanding that work pleases the heart of God.

Overcoming Unforeseen Influences

We live in a fallen world, which means unforeseen influences or circumstances impact our work life, which overflows into our personal life. Sure, sometimes these unexpected situations are positive and easily cherished. However, many times these events are negative, leaving us flabbergasted and upset. Some examples might include a boss who does not value your hard work and dedication, a hostile work environment where co-workers have little to no camaraderie, an environment of instability where you are worried about job security, and/or a constant influx of work that surpasses your detailed job responsibilities.

Whatever the case, it is helpful to remind yourself that you are working for the Lord. Pray for strength, wisdom and guidance. God will honor such prayers, and He will direct your steps. He might open another job, or He might use you as a testimony in your current situation. But nevertheless, He will not forsake and abandon His children. You can rest assured that He has a purpose. It is amazing what God can do through a surrendered life.

The Apostle Paul states, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me,”(Galatians 2:20, NASB).

Read more theology and ministry blogs and learn about degree programs offered by GCU's College of Theology today. 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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