Thursday, November 3, 2016

Viewing our Work in Light of the Biblical Narrative

A month ago, I went to a women's conference about trusting God. The speaker, Nancy Guthrie, was amazing and I'm still processing a lot of what she said. But one of the breakout sessions has been heavy on my mind and heart since I went.

For starters, it was called Meaningful Work. There was no discussion of stay-at-home mom versus working mom, or the ever-elusive "balance" or anything like that. The talk was actually based on Every Good Endeavor by Tim Killer and viewing our work in light of the Biblical narrative.

The Biblical Narrative has four parts:

1. The Ought: God's design for work in Genesis. God is a worker, and we are designed in his image. He planted the Garden, and created man to work the ground and to have dominion over creation.

2. The Is: The reality of life due to the Fall-- work is immediately hard. Pain enters the world, the ground is cursed, humans will have to work to make a living.

3. The Can: Living in between the cross and Revelation, where we see what can be redeemed even though it isn't yet.

4. The Will: All will be revealed when Jesus comes back. If you're a city planner, there will be a New Jerusalem. If you're a lawyer, take peace in knowing that justice will reign at last. If you're a mom, know that one day God will wipe all the tears from our eyes.


We obviously live in the frustration of the Can. I'm daily faced with the cultural narrative of work. I've struggled with it immensely, as evidenced by the fact that I've changed jobs a bajillion times. The cultural narrative is this: What do I do? Who am I? How valuable am I? Who is God? When I ask, "Whose kingdom am I building?" The answer is, "Mine."

God's narrative in the Can, tells us: Who God is. How God relates to me. Who I am. What I do. When I ask, "Whose kingdom am I building?" The answer is, "God's."

It changes everything to realize that my life isn't my story, but a small piece of God's big story.

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