At our Marketplace Ambassadors monthly meeting last Friday Braden Greer spoke on the connection between loving others and our work. It was a defining message for us.
He gave this message in longer form here at the How We Work series.
Why do I think this was a defining message? I invite you to explore that for yourself by listening, but I’d say because his message was self-evidently clear and authoritative, which is how the plain teaching of Scripture should land on us.
Colossians 3:23-24 makes the clear point that our work is to be motivated by love and allegiance to Christ:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
Yet, if we are to serve Christ at all, we must submit to his call to love others as inseparable from loving God. This is the authoritative answer Christ gives to the famous question of Matthew 22:34-40:
But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Which is the greatest commandment? Note the singular, as in “commandment” not “commandments.” Yet, Jesus offers two avenues of fulfillment: Love God and love others. And in both cases, the call to love is comprehensive. Love God with all we are, and love neighbor no less than we love ourselves (a clever way of also undercutting our self-love and pointing to the self-sacrificial nature of His love in us).
What an economy of words in this powerful answer. Do you see how Jesus seized this opportunity and gave us a model for how to love others in our work? His careful, thoughtful answer was an act of love to this lawyer and to all the hearers. Jesus produced an unforgettable saying in this moment, a product whose value ripples out to us in power and love today.
When God the Son became man, He set Himself to a unique work of redemption that alone could reconcile God and man. By virtue of our union with Christ, this same love is poised to get working in our work as Christians. We have an opportunity each day to vigorously exert Christ’s love to others, and at the same time offer loving worship to our Creator.
What is your view of your work? Might this view redefine work for you?