By Wally Larson
I’m a lawyer, but that’s just the start of what God has called me to at work.
In May I graduated from the Center for Faith and Work’s Gotham Fellowship program. Paul writes in Romans that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” I think the Lord used the Gotham Fellowship to help me see how short I fall of God’s glory in my work.
Before Gotham I relied upon God for “the big work things” — to have a job and keep a job. But it did not occur to me that every moment and thought and interaction at work should be subject to His reign. That’s when I began to glimpse how short I was falling for how Jesus wanted me to approach my work.
Forgetting to thank God for success. Reverting to panicky self-reliance in a crisis. Pride, over-sensitivity, lack of grace. Falling into fear when I couldn’t see exactly “where things are going.”
In short, I am a broken vessel because my heart is sin-sick. And my words and thoughts and actions at work flow from that sin-sick heart.
While that realization is very humbling, it has an upside — it helps me to recognize how deeply I have to continue to depend on Him to put to death that sinful nature which remains in me. I cannot boast in my work, only in Him. I cannot find my hope or power in my work, only in Him. I cannot look to my work for ultimate truth and security, only to Him.
It’s a new adventure — how to glorify God at work. It means wrestling with tough questions.
- How can I glorify Him in this work conversation, on this conference call, in that meeting?
- What does it mean to glorify God when I’m giving advice that someone won’t want to hear?
- When to be sharp? When to be soft-spoken?
The adventure also means accepting that God’s thoughts and ways are not my thoughts and ways. So when I experience adversity or humiliation, there may be no “lesson” to be articulated, only an internal refinement to experience, like Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Just like when I exercise in the morning, there may be no “lesson” to learn from my time on the treadmill, only the physical benefit of having gone through it.
The gift Jesus gave me on the cross gives me a new lens to see work through and a power to glorify Him. May His strength be made perfect in my weakness. Amen.