As an ordained minister in REACH SA (Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa) I was invited to our clergy conference from 13-16 April 2015. We had the privilege of having Phillip Jensen from Australia as our speaker. Phillip’s expositions in 2 Corinthians about the church and ministry were very helpful and encouraging. Below is a summary of some things I learnt.
In my previous post I said that work was good. Most of the readers of this blog will either be working outside the home in the business world or in the home as a housewife. How should we conduct ourselves? How should a Christian work? Here are a couple of principles that must be worked out in our different areas of work.
Work is an area of Christian freedom
Contrary to what many people think, God is not a grumpy old man in heaven with a big stick ready to whack people. God gives us a great amount of freedom in his good world. He said to Adam and Eve, “Here are two million trees to eat from, just not this one.” By obeying God’s command Adam and Eve were demonstrating their love for God and their willingness to live as creatures not as phony Creators. Work also is an area of Christian freedom. God has given us commands and guidelines – for our own good – and within those guidelines we are free to work in whatever field we choose or prefer. If you want to study or work in law or medicine, be a sales rep or accountant, a singer or a teacher, do it – as long as while you are studying or working you are not breaking God’s commands.
The Bible does not give us a definition of work, but we might define work as the activities that we are principally engaged in during the week, whether paid or unpaid, whether in the home or out the home.
What does the Bible say about work? God is the creator of the universe and therefore the universe belongs to him. And because God is God over everything in the universe, that must include our leisure, social life, marriage, bank account and work. There can be no hidden compartments. Moreover, because the gospel is true and we have believed the gospel, it must affect and influence how we spend our money, how we use our leisure time, how we conduct our friendships and our attitude to work.