Mastering Work When Work Masters You


We spend a large portion of our day trying to become masters of our work. We train, we hustle, and we network all for the sake of having more control and more influence in our jobs. What many of us have also realized though, is despite our best efforts to master our work, we often feel like our work has mastered us. 

Instead of using our job performance to bless us, the pressures of our job start to impact our families. Instead of the financial benefits of our position, it comes with added responsibilities that take away from something else. Instead of being the best at our work, we become overwhelmed by the pressure to perform. 

In Genesis 11, there's an interesting story of a group of workers - experts in their architectural skills. Notice how Genesis records their work: 

They said to each other, "Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth." - Genesis 11:3-4

This organized group of workers eventually would be spread across the whole earth, but before that ever happens notice the hustle and innovation of these workers. 

A tower that reaches to the heavens?

That doesn't come in a simple forty-hour per week job.

Bricks instead of stone?

That's a technological advancement that puts them in a position that other builders weren't doing. They rely on their efforts and innovation to use their work to accomplish their grandiose vision - a city, a tower, and a name for themselves. 

But there's a problem with what they want from their work. @@Work was never meant to give us a name.@@ When it comes to your work you have two choices: you can rely on work to give you what it was never meant to give you or you can rely on what work was meant to give and nothing more. When it comes to the building of the Tower of Babel, these workers relied on their work to make themselves a name - to give them an identity that no amount of good work could give them. They weren't the masters of their work, their work was their master - their work forced upon them a name. 

@@Your work doesn't determine your worth, Jesus' does.@@ When you look at the work you do (whether that be the paid or the unpaid work), what's it worth? Your work is important, but it's not important because of the name it will give to you. 

In John 15, Jesus says, "I no longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends. For everything that I have learned from my father, I have made known to you."

You're not CEO. You're not mom. You're not entrepreneur. You're not pastor. Those might be important, yes, but that's not who you are. You are a friend of God. That name hasn't been earned by you, it's been placed upon you. You didn't choose God, you didn't apply for the position, and he's not impressed with how important you are. He chose you because of the work of Jesus. 

1 Comment