Why do I get so stressed about work? Do I work too much? Do I worship God enough? Do I really understand worship? I’ve had questions like these running through my head recently due to my current situation at my job. I have been in a season of working far too much and because of the long hours, I have been feeling that I am not spending enough time worshiping God.
The past 6 months at my job have been very stressful. The amount of work that comes through my department has been difficult to manage and stay on top of. Over the past few weeks, I knew that something needed to change. I immediately started looking at my outward situation to see what I could do to remove the stress. However, through my time in the bible, I realize now that I should have been looking for an inward change.
The reoccurring theme in my bible reading lately has been the topic of worship. I decided to intentionally study this topic. What I found really opened my eyes. Worship to me has always meant the time that I spend at church every week for 30 minutes while music is being played. Although that is a form of worship, it isn’t even our greatest opportunity to be interactive in worshiping God. This revelation of worship that I received made me realize that I had been viewing my work all wrong.
While exploring this topic, I discovered that our worship to God and our work (jobs) are not totally separate parts of our lives. Both work and worship are action words. They require some form of action to complete.
The word worship means to show reverence and adoration to God through action. (Notice, the definition does not specify a particular action.) What does this mean? It means that all action is meant to be worship to God. Work simply means to be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result. If you put these two definitions together you find the connection of work and worship and how they go together.
Work/Worship: To be engaged in activity to show reverence and adoration to God.
Our work (jobs) is not only a way to worship God; it is actually one of our primary ways to do so! When God first created man, He didn’t say “bow and worship me” or “sing songs to me”. The first thing that God told man to do was work.
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. – Genesis 2:19-20
God wants us to worship Him through how we handle ourselves in our work. God gave Adam the job of naming all of the animals; that is a huge project! The bible doesn’t mention Adam getting stressed or overwhelmed, and I believe that is because Adam understood that he did not need to do this work in his own strength. Adam understood that He was worshiping God through his actions and because of that, he did not have to rely on his own strength; but instead, he could rely on God’s strength.
If Adam would have begun getting stressed or overwhelmed, what he was doing would no longer have been about God, but it would have been about himself. This really hit home for me. Have I been viewing the idea of worship incorrectly? Have I been working with an incorrect mindset? The answer to both of these questions is yes. In everything I do, it needs to be by God for God. Everything that I do should be a form of worship to Him. (Colossians 3:17)
Are we worshiping God through how we carry ourselves at work? I want to challenge everyone who is reading this (myself included) to a mental paradigm shift. Instead of making our jobs about us today, let’s make them about God. Let’s walk into our places of work saying “God, today I do this to worship you.” If we have it in our minds that we are doing what we do for God, we’ll treat people, tasks and our work in general differently. Stress and overwhelming feelings will leave us as long as we remember that we are doing what we do to worship our God.
Make your actions today about God, not about yourself. Be engaged in activity to show reverence and adoration to God!