In an effort to emphasize the season of Thanksgiving, I encourage you to celebrate it all through the month of November. Earlier I explained my 21 Days of Giving Thanks challenge, which you can read about here. Today let’s give thanks for something we tend to complain about- work.
Day 5 – Give Thanks for Your Occupation
Throughout church history, Christians like Martin Luther have recognized the sacred nature of one’s calling. We tend to place people in ministry on a pedestal, as if their work is somehow “more legitimate” than others, but that’s not how God views it. From the beginning, God put Adam “in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) Even in the time of the Millennium, God’s people have an occupational calling- reigning with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6) Last time I checked, ruling and reigning takes a lot of work.
We also tend to overvalue on relaxation, ease, comfort, and an early retirement (for thoughts on a biblical view of retirement, see what John Piper has to say here). And it’s not that those things are wrong, it’s just that we need to put them in their proper place. The biblical ratio is 1 out of 7. That means God designed us to work 85.7% of the time. We actually find our maximum enjoyment in the life God created us to live when we follow his pattern for work. It’s true that, because of the Fall, work is cursed. But through the gospel, Jesus Christ has begun to reverse the curse.
That means as Christians we can give thanks to God for the work he has provided for us. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the work you do, you can give thanks for the provision, the “daily bread” God has provided for you through your occupation. And you can give thanks that you are free to pursue other occupational alternatives in a booming job market. Giving thanks for your job can also change your perspective on work as you begin embracing God’s design for you- whatever your calling.
Challenge: Thank God for the job he has given you. Write down 5 specific things you are thankul for that are unique to your occupational calling.