Gladness in every-day life

One’s daily work may often seem to be drudgery. There are many days on which I find myself decidedly uneager to begin another day of work at my summer job. Getting up at the early hours of dawn and drowsily shuffling out to the car to drive to the work site is often a less than the ideal beginning to the day in my estimation. Yet this what my job entails, and so I do it. However more important than just doing it is how I do it, that is, the attitude with which I approach the tasks set out before me. As Christians we are called to be thankful in all things, including those things that we may at times find quite unpleasant. Every aspect of our daily lives has been set in our path by the God whom we love. These things He gives to us in order that we may serve Him and honor Him through the way in which we conduct ourselves in doing them. Whether we find these tasks desirable or not is really inconsequential. Serving God is does not necessarily mean that we are going to have the time of our lives.

In performing our mundane daily tasks we serve and glorify God in the place where the Lord has put every one of us in this life. This is a truth which the Reformation reclaimed for the people of God. Every Christian holds the office of believer and serves the Lord in whatever calling the Lord places him or her. Whatever our current “vocation” is, be it a student, farmer, dish-washer, or hole-digger, we serve the Lord in that capacity. Indeed for the Christian every deed ought to be an act of worship, arising from a thankful heart, and one that is done in joy as a way of showing that thanksgiving to the God who has given abundantly all of the undeserved goods which we enjoy. Serving God and putting Him first in the commonplace and unpleasant aspects of daily life is something in which we do not always succeed; I know I fail, and I fail more often than I should like. This is a difficult task. Though regenerate, our old man of sin is still with us, and he rises up in rebellion whenever we find our lazy flesh inconvenienced.  Our jobs may be tiresome, and our studies may be rigorous and laborious. It is often the case that inconveniences arise at the workplace which impede our ability to complete our tasks. Mistakes are made by coworkers, tools malfunction –all simple and small matters–and our tempers flare and our nerves are irked. In such times we must strive to remember the Lord we serve and the reason we serve Him. Putting away the sin of discontent and irascibility, we are called to perform with gladness whatever tasks the Lord has set before us. There are no exceptions to this. As the Apostle Paul commanded the Philippians: “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:14-15.) In so doing we shine as lights in our wicked world. The attitude which we exhibit in public, the comportment with which we conduct ourselves at work, the way we speak, our tone of voice and so forth, all these things reflect upon ourselves and upon the Lord we serve. The unbeliever sees these things, in fact he sees much more than we often expect him to perceive. As a result, this is one of the easiest ways to bear witness to him and to exemplify the Christ-like conduct of one who bears the title of Christian. But likewise, it is also one of the easiest ways by which we may bring shame upon ourselves and mockery upon God from a critical unbeliever who is all too ready to dismiss Christians as hypocrites and to scorn our God. This is something for us all to work at with devotion, for we all fail on occasion to pursue our daily tasks with the enthusiasm to which our Lord calls us. However in doing our daily work with joy, without complaining or grumbling we both honor God and honor His gospel before the world, and more importantly we exemplify the obedience, respect, and godliness which befits the covenant people of God.

JS

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