Since being in ministry for the last twenty years, I have heard comments from people with “regular jobs” comparing the significance of what I “get to do” with what they “have to do.” Some have commented that “their job doesn’t matter as much” or “isn’t as spiritual” as those in vocational ministry.
I am always saddened when I hear those comments and in many ways feel I have failed to help the person think more biblically and broadly about work. Work was given as a gift before humanity rebelled and sin impacted everything. All work is spiritual when done for the glory of God. A.W. Tozer said, “It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it.”
But what do you do when the job feels boring, when it feels less significant than you imagined?
1. Look up.
When you look to Christ and not your job, boredom ceases because Christ is never boring. When you look to Him, the Lord breathes meaning into the mundane.
2. Look down.
You ultimately work for God, not for the person who signs your check or who emails assignments. For this reason, the apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:23). Being a Christian at work means doing your job well. Look down and execute to the glory of God.
3. Look around.
Look around to the people the Lord has placed in your path. None of them are there by accident. In His providence, He has put people in your path and given you the privilege and responsibility to represent Him. Even and especially in places that are broken. John Stott reminds us, “We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather we should ask, ‘What has happened to salt and light?’” Look around to the people the Lord has put in your path. They are not boring. They are created in God’s image.
4. Look deeper.
Look deeper than your tasks and you will find that your work does have a real impact. Martin Luther declared, “God is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid.” All work can be spiritual because God uses our labor to sustain society and offer common grace to humanity.