Work in Line with the GospelThere is only one way to deal with the sin that remains and the death we deserve, and it isn’t found at the top of any corporate ladder, or in the size of a 401K, or in the number of people reporting to you, or even in how happy you are in your job. Only God can address the needs nested deep in our weaknesses, insecurities, fears, and failures. Success could never address what we all really need most. Only the gospel will save us — even those who believe success in this life might save them.
We all try to earn love. For many of us, it started in preschool trying to please Mom and Dad with another picture for the fridge. Then it was cultivated in the competition of middle-school classrooms, and confirmed in the grades and awards of high school. In college, for the first time, we were identified by our major — our future job. And then four years later, after our first paycheck, we’re already fighting society’s desire to define us by where we work, who works for us, and how much we make. It all looks like work, but it’s really worship. It wears the responsible nametag of provision, but it’s really the frantic, promiscuous search for redemption.
Again, Keller writes:
God is not on a leash, he cannot be bought or appeased. The gods of religion can be controlled. If we offer them hard work and devotion, then they are beholden to us. However, God cannot be approached like that. Whatever he gives us is a gift of grace. (85)
God will never be won through work. He loves to save, but he will not rescue those who believe they’ve earned it. Grace is the only currency he trades in. Everything else we might offer him is as Monopoly money in his hands. He refuses to love and affirm you like a cosmic CEO, because he’s not “served by human hands, as though he needed anything” (Acts 17:25).
To be clear, success is not a curse. It becomes a curse when it quietly becomes your savior. God prospers the work of our hands in all kinds of ways for his glory. But it is not his method of making you his, and it’s certainly not meant to make much of you. Success is a servant of sovereign Grace, the only means by which anyone is saved.
The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job
The Lethal Drug in Your Dream Job | Desiring God
Why do you want the job you do? Success is a subtle, but deadly god in America. But unlike the typical career path in our country, our God only trades in the currency of grace. We’ve been accepted and loved long before we clock in on Monday.