Work vs Job
Working for Him.
This journey of shining for Him through writing, began with teaching others about His glory. It’s something I continue to do on a weekly basis. (Informally? I find myself doing it daily. Often to the annoyance of others.)
I’m currently leading Dallas Willard’s teaching on Psalm 23: Life Without Lack. The question of identity is considered in the book. Who are we? Why do we matter to God? What gives us value? For most, the first go to answer for who they are and why they matter is their job, career, and how much money they make. Dallas contends we are far more valuable than we think and it has nothing to do with our job or salary.
In his argument, the idea of work vs job comes into play. Dallas defines work as “the total amount of lasting good that you will accomplish in your lifetime.”
Today much that is called work is not the use of energy to produce good. In our fallen world we must distinguish between a job and work, because many “jobs” can produce evil. Your job is what you get paid to do, and it might or might not contribute to lasting good.Dallas Willard, Life Without Lack
The study guide asks the question: “What is the distinction (between having a job and having work to do), and can you identify the difference in your own life?”
I considered this question last week, and thought I had a good handle on it. For me the two can be the same and mostly are (or so I thought). The way we do our job can be used by Him as work. The work He calls us to is revealing His love and grace to others — magnifying Him in our lives. Work does not require earning money, but a job can be approached in a manner where it does or doesn’t work any good in His Kingdom.
Yesterday, I received a deeper lesson in job vs work.
Lessons in grace.
It’s an odd thing to own a shop where your self-published book sits on a shelf for sale. Most pass by it unnoticed, but on occasion someone will stop… open the cover… look through its pages… This happened yesterday. I watched from a safe social-distance with mask in place. Growing self-conscious as she flipped toward the back of the book where the “About the Author” is found.
Feeling the Spirit nudge, I took a step closer and said, “I can tell you a little more about the author if you’re interested. It’s me.”
She said she thought it might be, but she wasn’t sure because of the mask. We talked for a bit about the book, about Psalm 119 (its topic), about self-publishing and selling on Amazon. All the while, the Spirit gently urging me, “Offer her a copy. Give it to her.” In my general discomfort, I hemmed and hawed in my spirit until the woman walked out empty-handed, saying she would check it out on Amazon.
In the busy of my day, I went about business without further thought of the moment. Yet here I am returning to this question of work vs job. Reading my earlier answer, I receive a gentle conviction as the scene of the “crime” comes to mind.
The Spirit reminds me in the quiet, what is really true for all of us. Everything I invested in that book, that particular work, was/is a gift from God. Every single thing that went into it:
- The finances to publish.
- The inspiration to write.
- The faith and grace that captured my heart to draw me to Him in the first place.
- The business in which I offer it for “sale”.
It’s all from Him.
It’s His work.
I realize now, in that moment in my shop, I let the concept of “job” keep me from doing the work of God — giving (or even just offering) the grace He’d given me by giving me that book.
A work in progress.
Oh, dear! Well, that’s not good.
Except in Him, it is. It is good because it is one more grace to move me forward in the work He’s doing in me. Today, I find myself with more freedom from the world’s way and one step deeper into His Kingdom in the here and now.
We enter this heavenly city here and now, although its fulfillment in that eternal “felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good” is not fully realized here and now, but only in the age to come.Richard Foster, Streams of Living Water, commenting on Augustine’s work, The City of God
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1:6 ESV
Praying you find yourself working for Him and His glory in every job you do.
You’re invited to check out my work of marketing on Medium.com as I continue posting stories to create a new devotional.