A friend who just lost his job sits across from you with tears in his eyes. "I know I have a purpose," he says. "I need to know that what I do matters, that I'm doing what God wants me to do." "My work is so stressful," a hard-working executive confesses. "Even when I'm home I'm connected to work electronically. I know my family wishes I wasn't always 'checking in,' but they don't understand what's expected of me. I don't even have the time to think about God and what he wants. It seems like just one more thing to do."
"Homeschooling my children was so much work, but I loved it," a mom said. "But now my oldest son doesn't want to go to church or do anything. What was it all for?"
Questions of Faith and Identity
How about you? Most likely you also have questions about the meaning, significance, and motivation for what you do. We all want the work we do to make a difference, yet we feel the gap between the realities of daily work and our lives as Christians. We wonder: Am I doing the right thing? My work is unpaid; does that mean it’s unimportant? Why is it so stressful? Why do I get so afraid when I make a mistake at work?
These questions are not just about work. They are spiritual questions about faith, meaning, significance, identity, and the struggle with sin. The struggle to bring work and faith together is as old as the fall of humanity. Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, they experienced God's good gifts of work, childbirth, and relationships as broken and hard. We know this isn't the way it's meant to be, but we wonder how — even if — our lives can be made whole again.