Men in Their Own Skin–Chapter 7: Men and Their Work

A week or so after I wrote my last blog, I had some family come into town, so I had to put a lot of stuff away and I ended up unknowingly putting this book in my nightstand. I looked for it the other day and couldn’t find it, and then luckily this morning I opened my nightstand for my life journal and found this book in there too. Needless to say, I went ahead with the next chapter.

Chapter 7 deals with men and their work. I was really looking forward to this chapter–I always appreciate a new outlook on work. Let’s get right to the core of the chapter, shall we?

It’s very fast-paced, so I’m going to try to recap it in my own words.

Men are wired for work. It’s in our very nature. We can’t stand being lazy, and we’re not wired to express ourselves through words as much as work. Work is, in fact, the nature of God, even now He is still working (John 5:17.)

Work is important because it’s part of the original commission–to rule and subdue. Tending a garden takes work. Work is not a strictly secular thing–often times people think that work and “spirituality” have to exist outside of one another. In my own experience, when I first started working, I often felt like I checked my faith at the door and that work was not a place where God went with me. I knew it wasn’t true, but it was still so very difficult to push past that thinking. But in reality, God really does accompany us to work, and work is a very sacred thing, because that’s one of the best ways to fulfill both the original commission (rule and subdue) as well as the Great Commission (make disciples.) People see Jesus in our work ethics. No matter where we work, who we work with (even if we don’t work with anyone) our work can reflect the supremacy of Jesus Christ. I remember, even in the throes of my job at McDonalds (where I worked for the first two and a half years of my working days) people saying that they knew something was different about me. In retrospect, that was my new nature working itself out into my workplace. So while I may not have had a picnic working at McDonald’s, maybe, just maybe I helped create an atmosphere that was a little less stressful because of my work ethic and the way I treated my work.

Actually, now that I’m reflecting on it, I remember one night praying with one of my coworkers because she was not feeling well. I remember trying to talk to her through some of hard times in her relationship. I don’t really know where she is now, but hopefully what I did helped, and maybe I had more impact than I realize.

Anyway, let’s move on. I realize that a good way to learn from this book is to apply it to myself–my life and my situation, and in this case, my work. This book makes me ask, “how am I advancing the kingdom of God where I work?”

Fortunately, I have a job that facilitates this in a very effective way. Working at Starbucks, I am encouraged to connect with people on a personal level. Ask them how they are, what they’re up to, where they’re travelling, etc. Occasionally this strikes up rich conversation. Could it be that by expressing interest in other people, I’m working out Kingdom values in my job? Absolutely. People are God’s primary creations. God loves people, God values people, and at my job, we do too. It’s an awesome opportunity.

Father, help me to represent You in my workplace. help me to be an example of Jesus to everyone I work with and everyone I serve in my job. Thank You for my job and thank You for the opportunity to work and impact the world with Your gospel. in Jesus’ name, amen.

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