Secular vs. Sacred Things
The secular or sacred nature of an object, person, or event is determined by your perspective on it. The terms “secular” and “sacred” are merely descriptors. Language has enormous power. Labels can influence how you react to an object, person, or event. You can change your perspective on things that you previously considered secular and see them as sacred.
Most of you who consider your work entirely unrelated for church work consider your Monday-Friday activities secular. You refer to it as “secular” work. However, when you volunteer for the church, whether as an usher or a Sunday school teacher, you think to yourself, “Now, this is my sacred work.”
We usually consider these jobs, such as bus driver or janitor, to be secular. “I’m driving a bus, what kind of job is that?” you think. I urge you to make a change. As I previously stated, it is a psychological and a linguistic shift. You can affect a linguistic change by referring to your job as a “sacred calling” rather than a “secular job.”
A Sacred Calling?
A psychological shift occurs when you start referring to your job as a “sacred calling,” a psychological shift occurs. It is more than just something you do to make a living or meet ends. You gain a sense of your life’s God-given purpose.
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. (Ephesians 6:5-8)
A Secular Job for the Believer?
There is no such thing as a secular job for a believer. Years ago, there was such The verse above sparked debate because it was interpreted to support the slave trade. We can, however, understand the nature of Paul’s culture at the time it was written. You must know that employment in the ancient world was primarily of the slave/master variety. In today’s context, we would read this verse as follows: “Employees, be obedient to your employers according to the flesh.”
The verse is about employees and their bosses. The Old English translation is trembling. Today’s jargon simply means treating your employees as you treat your superiors.
The verse said not to serve “with eyeservice, as men-pleasers.” The term “eyeservice” refers to only performing well when they expect it or when you know a review is coming. Instead, you must perform well even if no recognition or compensation is promised. Because at the end of the day, you work for Christ, not your boss, who can only evaluate your performance. God knows what you do in secret. Lastly, you work for the Boss.
Who’s Your Boss?
The Word of God says that when you work for an earthly boss, act as if you are doing God’s will. As if you were serving Christ, do it. You are expected to carry out your “secular” duties as if you were working for God. Everything you do for God is considered sacred.
The bus driver is probably scratching his head. What does God’s will have to do with me driving a bus? When and where did God’s plan board the bus? However, the passage instructs you to drive the bus as if you were driving it for God.
The secular world’s myth is that you must always do everything for God. Secularism is anything you do that is not for the Lord. But you must make everything about God, not men.
Back to the bus driver. It’s not about the passengers, nor the bus company. Moreover, it’s not about the bosses. In the end, it’s all about God. To please God, you serve the passengers, bus companies, and bosses like God. Human beings will not reward man. God will reward us all.
There is no secular job for a Christian because Christ’s redemption has fully paid for you. When we say ultimately, we mean in every way. You are now his. Work for God alone, not for men. If you don’t think like this, you disrespect God rather than your earthly boss.
“This is not secular work; this is a sacred calling,” you may think as you work. When you relabel something, you start thinking about it differently, and new creative energy flows into it.
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