Disconnecting from work seems to be getting harder and harder. The devices in our pocket keep us connected to our task lists and our teams.
While our jobs are important, it is easy to lose perspective on their real role in our lives. We want to do our very best in our vocation, but we also want to keep it from becoming the ruling force in our lives.
In his book “The Gospel at Work: How Working for King Jesus Gives Purpose and Meaning to Our Jobs”, Sebastian Traeger points out two extremes we tend to get pulled to.
1 – Making work and idol
When we make an idol of work, our jobs become our primary source of satisfaction. Traeger says you can tell you are making world an idol “when your heart goes up and down depending on your performance on the job”.
“It is perfectly fine to seek satisfaction at work” says Traeger. “But, nothing can compete with our allegiance to Christ.”.
There is nothing wrong with pursuing good performance. But, we tend to put that performance above God. “We think about it more, and stress about it more,” says Traeger. “It’s what we tend to be concerned about”.
2 – Being idle at work
The other extreme we find, is to simply be idle at work. That doesn’t always manifest itself as poor performance. That just means we aren’t seeing God’s role in our job, or seeing our job’s role in God’s purposes.
Traeger sees this as “a heart that doesn’t really know why we are in the job and doesn’t understand God’s purposes.
Both of these extremes can be balanced as we continually try to put our job in the context of God’s work, and God in the proper context of our lives.
If we are believers, if we accept the Gospel message that we sinned and through Christ are accepted into God’s family… [we] have a new master. [we] work for King Jesus. Now your assignment is to do what pleases the Lord. No longer is our confidence or self-worth in ourselves.
Traeger recently spoke with Faith Radio. You can hear the whole interview here.