Last year, due to a number of circumstances I undertook a complete career change. I was working as an IT support officer in a major government department and I am now a bus driver. It has been a complete change from sitting at a desk Monday to Friday from 9am till 5pm to driving buses every day of the week anytime between 5.30am and midnight. Shift work has been a huge culture shift and has affected me much more than I ever could have imagined.
My Civil Service career lasted 27 years and in many ways, I have to confess, I became complacent.
This change has really made me think about how I can live for God, at work, on a daily basis. I have come to realise that God wants to use us, even in the mundane existence of our day to day work, which almost never feels exciting and could in many ways be described as drudgery.
My experience is of course going to be different to yours (you may not even have paid employment). But I want to set out some observations about how we can honour God whatever we do, in our daily routine.
A great life verse to consider when thinking about this subject is:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
That is the bottom line of what we are trying to do. We want to live a life that pleases God. But what does that look like?
Firstly, I don’t think you should be putting yourself under so much pressure to ‘perform for God’. I don’t think He is expecting us to run daily bible studies with our colleagues . God is not looking for our works but our attitudes and these can even be relevant when no-one else is looking. God is looking for consistency and faithfulness, not for results. After all, He is the one who makes things happen and the more we ‘strive’ to achieve results, the more likely we are to put people off!
Here are a few thoughts:
We are dependent on God – I know this may seem obvious, but I think, far too often, we rely on our own strength, gifting and abilities. I have found bus driving very difficult. I have not found it easy at all. They are big vehicles and some of the streets I drive down are very narrow. In many ways I have been blessed through these difficulties because I have had to throw myself on God on a daily basis. Even if you find your job very easy, it is good to seek God for continued support and to acknowledge that we can’t achieve anything in our own strength.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
We need to be people of integrity – Be a person that your colleagues know they can rely on. Do the right thing even when the boss isn’t looking. Be honest and trustworthy. If you say you will get something done in a certain time, do it. Don’t steal from your company, whether that is equipment or time. This may in some circumstances cause you to be unpopular, doesn’t matter. You are doing everything right to please God. Doing all for an audience of one.
Be a good character – seek to be loving and kind to your colleagues and customers. Even today I had someone remark, when they got onto my bus, how nice it was to see someone smile. I also try to be generous and help people out if they don’t have enough change for the fare. It’s the little things on a daily basis that have an impact and you won’t always see the effect. Know who you are in Christ. You are a child of the living God. You are spreading the fragrance of Jesus to everyone you come into contact with. Walk confidently with the assurance that you can and are making a difference.
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14)
Be a servant – This is largely demonstrated by preferring others and putting them first. Offer people cups of tea. Find ways that you can bless other people and make their experience at work more enjoyable
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. (Romans 12:10)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
Finally, find time to include God in your daily schedule. Pray to him whenever you can. Offer up your problems and your worries. Thank and praise Him for the things that go well. If you have the precious gift of praying in tongues, do it as you go along. I pray in tongues a lot as I drive around the town. Who knows what the Holy Spirit can accomplish through this simple obedience.
I hope you have found this useful. Please put something in the comments if you have anything to add and also let me know if you have any subjects you would like me to cover in the future.