PURPOSE: Does my work or career matter to God?

Everything about you matters to God, including the work you do—not because God needs you as a cog in some cosmic staffing scheme, performing a certain task for his benefit, but because work is a realm where each of us—no matter what kind of work we do—can honor God and love others.


From the very beginning, God built work into the fabric of humanity. Adam and Eve were given roles in the Garden of Eden: they were commanded to be fruitful, and to have dominion over all that God made; in other words, to engage creatively and redemptively in the world as God’s ambassadors. Work was never the result of the fall; it was always part of God’s plan.


Each of us is created as a worker, too, regardless of the task or tasks God draws us to. And while it can be challenging to discern the particular sort of work God may be calling you to at any different point, there can be no doubt that he made you as a worker and that he expects you to work, to the degree you are able. “Whatever you do,” Paul wrote to the disciples at Colossae, “do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men. Remember, it is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”[1] In other words, work hard, work with excellence, and consider your work as an offering to God.

[1] Colossians 3:23-24


So, yes, our work matters to God. But in the video, Jace and his friends are wondering about the specific work they might do. Jace’s brother Tai wants to be a minister, and everyone agrees that God could certainly “get behind” that kind of calling. But Jace is more interested in business and seems concerned that that might not be a true “calling.” There are certainly times when God’s call to work is quite specific. Moses was called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt—and he insisted he was unqualified! Jonah was called to evangelize the city of Ninevah, and he ran the other way. Mary was called to give birth to the Son of God and mother him, and she said yes to her assignment. But for most of us, many opportunities exist for the kind of work we might do.


If you are passionate about business like Jace, that could be a viable option for creative and redemptive work for God. Former Coca Cola senior executive Bonnie Wurzbacher, a devout Christian and the daughter of a minister, studied to become a teacher and taught for a short time, but then took on a different role in business, and loved it. “I’m very passionate about the critical role and responsibility of business,” she explains, “and how it advances the economic well-being of people around the world. Business allows other institutions to exist—including churches, schools, hospitals, and every non-profit organization—by creating jobs, salaries and corporate tax revenues. It gives Christians an incredible place to honor God. When a business fails you see the impact on everything else, and vice versa.”


Could she have glorified God and loved others through a long career in the classroom? Of course! And there are likely several avenues any of us could take and still be obedient to God in our work. Many people have more than one career over the course of their lives, pursuing second and third acts very different from their initial work. Here are some things to remember about the place of work in God’s kingdom:

  • Everyone is called to belong to Christ and participate in his creative and redemptive work.
  • Everyone is commanded to work to the degree they are able.
  • God calls us to a whole life, not just to a particular job.


Supporting Scripture  

Genesis 2: 1-3,15

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.


Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.


I Peter 4:10

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.


Notable Quotes

“Ordinary work matters to God because ordinary people matter to God.” ~ Courtney Reissig


“Any vocation can glorify God and…a calling is the intersection of your strengths and interests coupled with where God wants or needs you most—a place that may change over the course of your life.” ~ Bonnie Wurzbacher, former Coca Cola and World Vision Executive


“When you discover what you’re going to be in life, set out to do it as if God Almighty had called you at this particular moment in history to do just that. Set out to do a good job and do it so well that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.


Additional Resources to Explore

>>Your Job, Well Done, Desiring God, Dan Doriani


>>Go to the Purpose episode