Does Faith Relate to Work?

There is a lot of talk these days about containing faith in its appropriate place and away from the workplace. Does faith conflict with work? If not, than what difference should it make at work? I can only speak for the Christian faith when answering this question. If you are of another faith, I would encourage you to find out what its beliefs are about work.

Work has been part of the Christian faith since the beginning of time. The Christian faith defines the origin and meaning of work in relation to God. Out of all creatures, humans are said to bear God’s image and are given the responsibility to display His image through their work (Genesis 1:26-27). Christians do not believe that work somehow evolved out of necessity for humans to survive. But instead work was designed by God to allow humans to exercise dominion over creation. The fact that humans have made airplanes that fly and transport people is proof that God’s world has consistent natural laws which humans have learned to use for the purpose of benefiting humanity. The Biblical view holds work in high regard, so much so that it makes no distinction in importance, whether you work in the church or work in your company job. Both are of equal importance to God because it is His design, reflecting His purpose.

The concept of work during the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations took a turn and became distorted and twisted. The common work of most people was thought to be of little or no value, while the higher pursuits of philosophy, art, and politics were considered the only worthy work. But then on the scene of history came one who claimed to be God and yet worked with his hands as a carpenter. The culture in that day encouraged slavery and degraded most work and workers, and yet Jesus Christ worked most of his earthly life as a carpenter. When Christ entered his public ministry His Father in heaven expressed how pleased He was with the work Jesus had done with his hands (Mark 1:9-11).

The bedrock truth about the Christian view of work, in general, is that it glorifies God because it renders a service unto Him. So, whether you clean airplanes, fly them, or work in a church setting, all is a service that brings equal glory to the creator of work. Certainly some humans have distorted work to serve their own selfish and evil purposes. Such work cannot have God’s approval. But neither does God approve of those who declare or imply that work at the company job is of less importance to Him than the work done in church. Both matter to Him!

The best statement Christians can make about work comes through the way they do their work. The FCAP mission statement summarizes this. Our Mission in FCAP…Representing Christ in the Airlines…through Meaningful Relationships and Quality Work.

Though all of us fall short of perfection, Christians should show resemblance and consistency as to how their faith in God influences their work and workplace. When they live out their faith this way, the question about how the Christian faith relates to work and the workplace will be answered. (PMC)

“Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 10:31