Working for God
YES, that’s how our attitude should be when we work. We have to work for God and not just for men. St. Paul said so: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Col 3,23-24)
We need to be clear about this, and make the necessary adjustments or even radical changes in our attitude toward our work. We should not downgrade the objective dignity of our human labor and just treat it as if it were just purely a human affair.
Our work, by definition, is also a work of God. And that’s simply because our whole life itself is always a life with God. At least, it is supposed to be like that, unless we stray from that basic truth about ourselves.
The creator cannot be absent from his creatures. In our case, since we have been endowed by God with the capacity to know and to love, due to our spiritual faculties of the intellect and the will, we are supposed to enter into a knowing and loving communion with God, our Creator.
We are supposed to live our life and do our work fully knowing that we are working with God and for God. That is just how the cookie crumbles. That is the ideal way of working.
Our work then becomes our contribution to the abiding providence of God over all his creation. As the masterpiece of God’s creation, we are supposed to be working with God and for God, responsible stewards of his, in a manner of speaking. We are meant to cooperate with him in his continuing work of taking care of his creation.
We need to strive to live by this basic truth about ourselves and spread it as widely as possible. The great majority of the people all over the world are still ignorant of this truth. And even for those who in principle know it, do not know how to translate it into actual reality.
That is why our work often produces a lot of problems—pride, vanity, greed, envy, discord, to name a few. We are seeing these problems around. They have become the common effects of our work nowadays.
When we would be more aware of this truth, even if we still can commit errors due to our human limitations and the many temptations around, there would be an effort to make our work a source of real goodness, of love and compassion, of energy for unity among ourselves, etc. We would strive for utmost competence and diligence.
We need to start with our own selves in learning and living by this basic truth of ourselves. Are our motivations and intentions for working the right one? Do we know how to relate the temporal and technical aspects of our work to God? Do we realize that our work is our usual way of giving glory to God? And that it is our usual way also of sanctifying ourselves and others?
I believe we have to discuss these questions more often and more openly, if only to make ourselves more literate in this crucial aspect of our life, especially in our relation to God and to others.
Slowly but steadily, without letup, let’s help one another acquire this proper understanding and attitude toward our work and its corresponding skills. What a world it is going to be if we work in this way!