For many, work is a necessary evil. Individuals work because they need income to pay bills and live life. Many would gladly not work if they didn’t have to. Hopefully, those who work enjoy their jobs, or are in an area of work that brings some meaning to their lives. However, enjoying your job doesn’t seem to be the biggest requirement, making enough money to support one’s lifestyle is typically most important.
What would happen if we saw our jobs as something bigger? How would our jobs change if we viewed them through the lens of being God’s blessing to the rest of the world?
When God called Abraham, God promised Abraham that through Abraham, and his descendants, all nations on earth would be blessed. While part of that blessing includes the coming of the Messiah, it also had a very specific function for Abraham. Abraham was invited to join God in God’s task to bless the creation. Abraham was to take an active role in blessing others.
But what does it mean to bless, or be a blessing. Richard Bauckham in his book Bible And Mission: Christian Witness in a Postmodern World offers a helpful definition of blessing. He states, “Blessing in the Bible refers to God’s characteristically generous and abundant giving of all good to his creatures and his continual renewal of the abundance of created life. Blessing is God’s provision for human flourishing.” God’s blessings are thus designed to help us, as image bearers, become all that we were created to be. God’s blessings are designed for us to have abundant life. But not just humanity, the whole creation is blessed so that it can be renewed and flourish. Christians, as image bearers of God, are invited to join God in this task of blessing the creation, helping the creation to flourish. As Christians, we have experienced abundant life, and we invite others into that life, remembering that it is ultimately God who is inviting because God is the one on mission.
As Christians, this idea of blessing should impact how we view our jobs. We don’t just work jobs, we have vocations. A vocation is a strong desire to spend your life doing a certain kind of work. It’s more than just a job, it is a way for us to live into the calling of God. We aren’t just nurses, tax accountants, or maintenance workers. We are image bearers of God tasked with helping the creation to flourish. We aren’t just working jobs, we are blessing others.
Our whole mindset needs to change on how we view vocation. Consider nurses. You are tasked with being a blessing and helping the creation to flourish. You work daily with humans who because of age, poor choices, or sin are struggling with their bodies falling apart. You wake up each day with the chance to help individuals heal their bodies so that their lives can flourish. You have the chance to teach healthy habits so that the future for your patients will be better, and they can experience abundant life. You’re not just working a job; you are in a vocation of blessing.
Consider tax accountants. Part of your job is helping individuals manage money better. Money for many is an idol; causing stress and pulling our priorities away from God. Life will flourish when money is placed in a proper perspective and is used by all of us to make life better, not control us. Tax accountants (and financial planners and CFO’s) get the chance everyday to help humanity flourish by helping all of us understand money better and control our spending and giving. You aren’t just crunching numbers, you are working toward abundant life.
Consider maintenance workers. Part of your job is caring for buildings, cutting grass, and picking up trash. These might seem like menial tasks, but they are part of God’s first command to humanity; care for the earth. As you cut grass and shrubs, you are helping beautify creation. As you repaint walls and fix holes you are helping buildings continue to function and bless others in what they were created to do. You aren’t just working a job to pay the bills; you are in a vocation of blessing the world.
The list goes on. Artists and poets are bringing beauty to the world. Teachers are training the next generation and sharing truth. Government workers are helping human societies live at peace with each other. These are not just jobs, they are vocations of blessing. You are joining God in blessing the world.
As Christians, we need to rethink our jobs. We aren’t just working jobs, we are participating in God’s blessing to the world. We don’t just have jobs, we have vocations. We don’t have spiritual lives and work lives and home lives; we have life, and that life is to bring blessing to the world.
You are an image bearer of God. You have a vocation of blessing. Live into your calling.