The Meaning of Mundane Work


CBMW Manual is running a series on work that I joined.

In the beginning was work. God orchestrates the ordering of the world and crowns His work by breathing life into dust. “[T]he Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature” (Gen 2:7). And after each working day, God declares, “It is good.”

Now man is not just another creature like the animals. He is made imago Dei. Scripture says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Part of that image can be seen in that God creates us to work like He works. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Gen. 2:15).

Many Christians I speak with about work think that work is part of the fall. That work itself is a curse, but work is a reflection of God. Our Father works, so we work. That supercharges our work with all sorts of importance and meaning.

This struggle with the meaning of mundane work especially grows out of the soil of following your dreams. That’s the American theology of work. If you are true to yourself and follow your dreams, your work has meaning. But if you are working a solid job, providing for your family, but your dream is to be the next the Next American fill-in-the-blank you’re a fraud and your current endeavors are meaningless. I’ve seen people make poor decisions about jobs to follow their dreams. I’ve seen families destroyed because one spouse felt like they weren’t being true to themselves and had to follow their dreams. It’s just absurd.

Read the entire article here.