Cooking/social event with my work colleagues (Photo: Irene Bom)
This November I celebrate ten years as a Church of Scotland minister of word and sacrament. It’s a significant part of my life, but so is my work as a software developer.
I’m following in the footsteps of the apostle Paul who supported himself and his team by earning his keep as a tentmaker.
Not only did tentmaking provide an income, it also gave Paul a unique opportunity to interact with people at all levels of society: customers like the well-to-do and the military, his suppliers, other market stallholders as well as the general public. During his lunch break Paul would preach to whoever was willing to listen. Moving from city to city, marketplace to marketplace, the seeds of the gospel were sown and the church grew.
In one of his letters Paul gives us a clue to his motivation when he writes, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col 3:23-24)
How might God use us, with our gifts and connections, to serve him in the workplace? Or, to quote Nick Abraham, how do we “grace” our workplace and “represent the gospel well”?
Digging deeper: God’s perspective on work
23rd Psalm for the Workplace
The Lord is my boss, and I shall not want.
He gives me peace, when chaos is all around me.
He gently reminds me to pray
and do all things without murmuring and complaining.
He reminds me that he is my source and not my job.
He restores my sanity every day and guides my decisions,
that I might honour him in all that I do.
Even though I face absurd amounts of emails,
system crashes, unrealistic deadlines, budget cutbacks,
gossiping co-workers, discriminating supervisors,
and an aging body that doesn’t cooperate every morning,
I still will not stop…..for He is with me!
His presence, His peace, and His power will see me through.
He raises me up, even when they fail to promote me.
He claims me as His own,
even when the company threatens to let me go.
His faithfulness and love are better than any bonus check.
His retirement plan beats every 401K* there is!
And, when it’s all said and done,
I’ll be working for Him a whole lot longer…..
and for that, I BLESS HIS NAME!!!
* 401K: U.S. retirement savings plan