by Ben Bowden, Marketing Assistant.
God begins and ends the Bible working; He starts by creating the heavens and the earth and ends by bringing about the new heaven and the new earth. If work is this important to God, shouldn’t it be important to us too? These blog posts will work through this book series and explore God’s intentions for work and how it can bring us closer to him. In this post I’ll be sharing what I learned from the second chapter of this book: Proverbs.
“Work is not only a human calling but also a divine one,” this is how the Theology of Work Project introduces the idea behind The Bible and Your Work Study Series.
Character is how we act when nobody is watching. Reading through the specified verses of Proverbs, I was forced to think back on the times a parent, coach, or employer asked, “Can I count on you?” Being trusted by someone you look up to brings excitement as well as anxiety. Can they count on me? Will I live up to their expectations? What if I let them down? Being a trustworthy person means, as I read today, “[my] work must bring good to those” above me and those under my care. This is the central idea of what it means to have a servant’s heart, wanting to do good for others even when nobody is looking over my shoulder.
My first job was bagging groceries at the local grocer chain down the street from my house. It was a job I didn’t want, mostly because I had heard negative things about it from other high school students who worked there. I remember complaining profusely about it and eagerly awaiting the day I wouldn’t have to don the blue apron. Today I read that, “No matter what the situation, wise workers adhere to their ethical duty to do good despite the bad.” Although I never stole from or vandalized the store where I worked, I can’t say I held true to the ethical standards that a teenage Christian boy should follow. I talked bad about my boss and coworkers; I cut corners and was “slack in my work” (Prv. 18:9); I didn’t have the good of the company in mind.
If we can fall into many of the pitfalls the Bible warns against just working at a grocery store always in sight of the manager, how much easier is it during a 9-5 job with less supervision? Slacking off while at work is destructive, that’s the lesson of Proverbs 18:9. It destroys the trust that others put in us and it destroys our usefulness to them. So today, “Thank God for his faithfulness. Ask him to help you grow as a person who can be trusted,” both at work and at home.
As I read through this study series from the Theology of Work Project, I’d love for you to join me. Follow along in your own copy of The Bible and Your Work Study Series: Proverbs or by reading and commenting on these posts. Either way, I look forward going on this journey with you and hope we can learn from each other.