All Work Serves the Lord

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24 ESV)

One common misconception among Christians is that ministry vocations, such as pastoral work, are somehow more honorable than other forms of work. The thinking goes like this: “spiritual” work must have higher value than “non-spiritual” work.

While pastoral work is honorable (1 Tim. 5:17), that does not mean that other work is inferior in God’s eyes. Any good work, job, vocation, etc. in which a Christian is engaged is a God-honoring calling. He provides the gifts, abilities, and desires that point people to particular forms of work and make them good at their work.

Tim Keller observes that one result of the Reformation was a recovery of this view of work:

One of the sacraments of the medieval church was the Sacrament of Holy Orders, which divided the world into the “religious” and the “secular.” Those who went into full-time church ministry as priests, monks, or nuns were on a completely different spiritual footing from those who did not. One of the Protestant Reformation’s main planks was to overturn this view with the biblical teaching of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9). Martin Luther insisted that all forms of work are God-honoring callings. To be a farmer, a craftsman, or an artist was just as much a vocation, a calling from God, as to be a preacher.

So-called “non-spiritual” work is just as much an opportunity to serve the Lord and be rewarded by the Lord as “spiritual” work. According to Colossians 3:23-24, all work is ministry work. Whatever you do, do it from your heart and do it for the Lord. And the Lord will reward you for you are ultimately serving Him. 

So to the men and women who work in various vocations or who work in the home or who work to serve others or who work in any number of good ways, yours is a high calling. God has put you where He wants you and He is honored when you do your work as unto Him.

Do not think that your form of work is inferior to other forms. You are called to serve Christ in whatever you do. As you serve Him faithfully and honorably in the work you do, know that He will reward you with a great inheritance one day.

For a Christian, all work serves the Lord. That makes any work a very high calling indeed.

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