One of Satan’s most successful strategies through the years has been to focus his energies not so much on making Christians deny the faith, but in convincing them that their faith is largely irrelevant. He loves for people to compartmentalize their faith so that Jesus is still Lord, while limiting His ‘area of expertise’ to some narrow fields of religion and morality. Whenever I have seen people come alive in their faith, it’s as they’ve seen how Jesus impacts all of their life: from family to finances to career and entertainment.
Abraham Kuyper was a Dutch theologian who founded the Free University of Amsterdam before going on to serve as Prime Minister. In a speech inaugurating the opening of the university in 1880 he famously declared: “Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’”
Alfonso may have never heard of Abraham Kuyper, but I love the way he models the power of his words. He appears in the 3-minute video from Made to Flourish and demonstrates a life that shatters all boundaries of sacred and secular. Caught up in drugs and sent to prison, he rediscovered a faith that he had never lived out. It was there that he began to see his talents as a mechanic as “God’s gift.” When he got out and wanted to open an auto mechanic shop, his pastor encouraged him that it was a “worthy calling.” Alfonso was moved by the words of 1 Corinthians 10:31:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
And so he prays about his work and puts each challenge into God’s hands. Because of that he sees the people coming into his shop not only as customers but also as people to whom he can minister. He’s provided employment to people in need but then also has a role in discipling them in areas of life that a pastor would never have access to. He says, “I feel like this business is the Lord’s. And He’s entrusted me with everything I have,” and when you hear the stories of people’s he’s impact you can’t help but agree.
There are unique freedoms that come with owning your own business. Some will see his testimony and say, “I’d be fired if I tried to do that in my workplace.” But, still, his example helps us to ask some important questions of our careers:
- Do I see my work skills as “God’s gifts”?
- Can I envision my job as a “worthy calling”?
- What would it look like to do my job “for the glory of God”? i.e. How could He be most honoured in the way I fulfill my role?
- Do I pray about my work and surrender it to His guidance and wisdom?
- Do I see my customers and fellow employees as people God has given me to minister to?
Work finds it’s significance when we see it as God’s domain. Work was originally God’s idea. And so we do it to His glory. May God guide you as you do!
In awe of Him,