God has given us the ability and responsibility to labor in our world. Going all the way back to the Garden of Eden and prior to the fall of man, God gave the responsibility to
“tend” the garden. Work is something that God intended to be good. After the fall, work became much more difficult. Adam no faced thorns and thistles as he sought to cultivate the ground.
As believers, our employment and the work the we do is an opportunity to Glorify God. We are told in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Since everything in life is an opportunity to glorify God, it is obvious that what we do in our work is that opportunity. The way that we work for our employer demonstrates something about our character and it has a direct impact on the validity of our testimony for Jesus Christ.
Recognizing our work environment as an opportunity to be a witness through both word and deed is an important part of what it means to be a missionary. How we act on the job will speak volumes about what we say we believe. Are we the peacemaker on our job or are we the ones who seem to all keep things riled up? Are we known for hard work and initiative or laziness and entitlement? Paul addresses this idea in Ephesians 6:5-6 when he says, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Perhaps we should get a new employer on our job. When we understand that our working environment is another chance to serve God, it will change the way that we look at our vocation. Are there any adjustments that you may need to take in your workplace toward either the people that you work with or the quality of work you do? Are there ways for you to acknowledge your gratefulness to God even in the midst of a less than ideal work environment? As a missionary, even our day to day workplace is an opportunity to share the love of Christ.