While eating soup is like a party in your mouth, “cooking the soup” isn’t always a joyous experience. Sometimes the challenges of work get the best of me. But a book that my friend Susan recommended has been extraordinarily helpful. Because He Loves Me by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick shows how the Gospel transforms our daily life. Before you yawn, think to yourself that you already know the Gospel, and click to another website, please hear me out.
Here’s how I apply the Gospel to the challenges I face at work, in the framework that Elyse Fitzpatrick presents:
Incarnation – Jesus humbled Himself and became a lowly servant. He knows what it is like to be human, to be tired, to be sick, and to work. He worked as a carpenter, and He likely experienced the drudgery, monotony, and pressure that almost everyone endures at one point or another at work. During His life on earth, he also suffered betrayal, misunderstandings, and false accusations. No unfair situation at my workplace is beyond His understanding.
His Sinless Life – Jesus lived perfectly, obeying every law in my place, so I don’t have to strive for perfection on my own. I am also free from the pressure of giving the appearance of perfection. I don’t have to worry about looking like I have it all together all the time. I can be honest with people and admit my mistakes. Jesus lived a perfect life, and I have His record.
The Crucifixion – At work, I am trying to prove that I’m a success (so much so that success is my idol). But the cross proves that I’m a failure. However, Christ bore the wrath that I deserve. I’m completely forgiven for my idolatry, selfishness, ungratefulness, and complaining.
The Resurrection – Because God raised Jesus from the dead, I know that (1) His sacrifice has been accepted by God, and (2) God has forgiven me. Sin no longer has power over me. I no longer need to prove my worth to anyone — not to my boss, not to my coworkers, not to my LinkedIn connections, not to God, and not to myself. By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can change and become more like Christ. Through His strength, I can go to my desk each day with the mindset of a servant, working with gratefulness for the job and the resources that God has generously provided. By His power, I can reflect His peace, joy, and love as I participate in meetings, answer e-mails, and field unexpected interruptions.
The Ascension – Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. He loves me and will bring me to be with Him one day. He is speaking to the Father on my behalf, sustaining me with grace and mercy. My career is not at the mercy of economic forces, the whims of management, or the number of late hours I can put in at the office. It is being directed by the CEO of the universe, who understands me and loves me. His plan for me is bigger than this week’s PowerPoint or next month’s budget, but He uses even those things to help me become like Christ.
Taking brief moments to consider all of these aspects of the Gospel throughout my workday is transforming my outlook. I am a work in progress! I pray that you will also experience the transforming power of the Gospel, no matter what challenges you face.
How do you apply the Gospel to your life?