Why do you go to work?

Matthew 25:40, Colossians 3:23-24

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A number of weeks ago one of our members who had a little bit of trouble with English came and spoke to me asking if I could help translate something for her. It was a document she’d been given from her employer and had listed a number of questions she supposed to answer for her regular review. I distinctly remember one of the questions on the sheet. It asked:

Why do you get up in the morning and go to work? It gave a number of possible responses. That I get up in the morning and go to work in order to help the company succeed. I get up in the morning and go to work in order to make a difference in the world. I get up in the morning and go to work in order to earn a paycheck and to provide for my family.

Looking through the lists it was apparent that the company probably wanted their employees to answer either number one or number two. What would your answer be to that question? Why do you get up in the morning and go to work?

Is it simply to earn a paycheck or is there something more? Now you might say it depends a little bit on your occupation. It’s easy to see how a nurse or a teacher makes a difference in people’s lives and in the world, but what about a mailman? What about a factory line worker? What about a janitor? Are those jobs just jobs that people do to earn a paycheck or is there something else? Matthew chapter 25 as Jesus recounts really what it will be like on judgment day as the king really mentions of believers wonderful things that they have done for their fellow man. He finally remarks this in verse number 40:

Just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did it for me. (Matthew 25:40)

Jesus reminds us that as we help and serve our fellow man ultimately we’re helping and serving God. We carry out our jobs, our vocations, the roles God has given us by serving our neighbor and by serving our neighbor we also serve our God. Sometimes it’s hard to see though, the ways in which we serve our neighbor.

If you consider carefully your own occupation and job I’m sure you can find the way in which you serve others. Might be an act of service it might be making something, goods, provided for other people. Maybe it’s just seems to be a very small thing compared to other jobs and vocations, yet it is a way that you serve the Lord. In Colossians chapter 3 the apostle Paul encourages us as he records there.

Whatever you do keep working at it with all your heart. As for the Lord and not for people because you know that you’ll receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. Keep serving the Lord Christ! (Colossians 3:23-24)

After going through a long list of different roles that people have, discussing people as employers or employees as parents or children, he finally encourages people to keep working hard in their jobs, in their roles, in their positions, that God has given them. To do it not simply because they are working for the man, or for a company, but because they are serving God. The real reason we want to serve God with our lives is because what he has done for us.

As it says in Colossians there he has given us an inheritance. An inheritance is a free gift, isn’t it? Passed down usually from grandparent or parent to child when that person dies you receive an incredible gift from them. God has given us an inheritance. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to also live and die on a cross. Through that death he has given us the gift of life everlasting in heaven. Because of this free gift God has given us we want to serve him with our lives and we do that quite often by serving our fellow man.

So why do you get up in the morning and go to work? Don’t make it simply to earn a paycheck, but remember what you’re doing is serving your neighbor and by serving your neighbor you serve your Lord has given you a precious gift of heaven. Amen.