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Over-Spiritualizing Work

Series: The Word Before Work Foundations
Devotional: 9 of 21
Published: April 24, 2018

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:36-39)

This week, we’re looking at seven ways our work matters to God. Yesterday, we saw that our work matters because it is a means of glorifying God. Today we see that work is also a means of living out what Jesus identified as the second greatest commandment: to love your neighbor as yourself.

Excellent work is one of the most practical expressions of this command as work is simply a means of serving others. If you’re a nurse, you serve others by bringing them back to health. If you’re an entrepreneur, you serve others by solving problems, creating jobs, and generating financial returns. If you’re a writer, you serve others by communicating ideas in clear and compelling ways.

As we’ll see in the coming days, God’s Word points to many ways in which our work will matter for eternity. But we must never lose sight of the fact that our work matters today. 

Jesus didn’t say, “Love your neighbor as yourself…so that you can tell them about me,” or “Love your neighbor as yourself…so that you can help build my kingdom.” “Love your neighbor as yourself” was a complete sentence. 

Sometimes, we can be tempted to over-spiritualize our work. Jesus reminds us that simply loving our neighbors is good and God-honoring in and of itself and is one of the most fundamental ways in which our work matters to God.

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