Do you feel like what you do matters? Whether you’re in the corner office or in a cubicle, management or menial labour, at home with the kids or out in the field, all of us long to know that our lives are making a difference in the world. But from my observation many at least occasionally wonder, if not outright despair that they’re doing anything of any real value.
If you’re one who ever feels that way I have some encouragement for you. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says your labour in the Lord is not in vain. Notice it does not say your work for the Lord, but your work in the Lord is not in vain. What does that mean? To understand what it means to labour in the Lord we first need to understand what it means to be in the Lord or in Christ Jesus?
John Stott puts it this way; “To be “in Christ” does not mean to be inside Christ, as tools are in a box or our clothes in a closet, but to be organically united to Christ, as a limb is in the body or a branch is in the tree. It is this personal relationship with Christ that is the distinctive mark of his authentic followers.” The term Christian is only found 3 times in the Bible. The most common description of a follower of Jesus is the term “in Christ” or “in the Lord”. (164 times just in Paul’s letters.)
This doesn’t mean that because I am “in Christ” automatically all my labour is “in the Lord” and therefore purposeful. In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul, writing to those who were Jesus followers, describes their lives as building either with gold silver and costly stones, or with wood hay and stubble.
The implication being that anything I do that is motivated by and done in dependence upon my union with Christ is of value. Even more he says that those things will last into Heaven. Conversely the things done from self- motivation and strength are without real value and will disappear – even the seemingly really good deeds.
So here’s my encouragement to you. Today, whether you’re cleaning up after your kids, or sweeping the floors in the shop, driving a truck or sitting at a desk, feeding people or feeding cows, whether you’re by yourself or on a team; whatever you are doing, if you are doing it in the Lord it will literally last and bring glory to God for ever!
What you do matters!