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Series: How to Stay in Our Jobs “with God” — Confirming the Spoken Gospel

So far, we have looked at staying in our secular jobs “with God” by:

  1. Enjoying Fellowship with Him
  2. Pursuing Creative Productivity for a Purpose
    1. Consciously Relying on Him

These insights have been reflections and notes from “Making Much of Christ from 8 to 5,” a chapter in John Piper’s Don’t Waste Your Life.

The third way that Piper lists for staying at work with God is:

3. We make much of Christ in our secular work when it confirms and enhances the portrait of Christ’s glory that people hear in the spoken Gospel.

It can be easy when talking about faith and work to overemphasize the work and forget about the gospel. As Piper says,

“There is no point in overstating the case for the value of secular work. It is not the Gospel. By itself, it does not save anyone. In fact, with no spoken words about Jesus Christ, our secular work will not awaken wonder for the glory of Christ” (Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life, p. 142)

The core of this teaching is that the way we do our secular work “will increase or decrease the attractiveness of the Gospel we profess before unbelievers” (p. 143). When I as someone who seeks to be a Gospel-centered teacher engage with my colleagues and students and community members with respect and humility, I am allowing any mention of Jesus from my lips to be met with attention and consideration rather than scorn and dismissiveness.

Of course, the great assumption is that they know we are Christians. Yet, if they don’t, if there is no Good News of a saving, sacrificing God for our work to adorn, our work falls painfully short of its calling (Titus 2:9-10). It is like a good commercial that never mentions the product. “People may be impressed but won’t know what to buy” (p. 143).

On the flip-side, our work can remove stumbling blocks. Everyone has had the unfortunate experience of hearing the Gospel from someone who is well-known for their laziness, or their dishonesty, or their gossip. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Miss Stephanie Crawford is a self-proclaimed Christian woman, yet she is equally famous for her nosiness. As Christians, if we content ourselves with doing slipshod work, we put a stain on the gospel rather than adorn it.

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About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at TeachingtheCore.com. He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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