Podcast: Why Your Job Has Meaning and Purpose . . . Even If You Don't Like It (Bryan Chapell)

This article is part of the The Crossway Podcast series.

How to Think about Our Jobs

In today's episode, Bryan Chapell talks about why the work you do day in and day out matters to God—probably more than you realize.

Grace at Work

Bryan Chapell

Author and pastor Bryan Chapell shares what the Bible teaches about work and how the gospel makes our jobs instruments of his grace. 

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Topics Addressed in This Interview:

00:44 - God’s Grace at Work

Matt Tully
Bryan, thank you so much for joining me today on The Crossway Podcast.

Bryan Chapell
Thank you, Matt. I’m glad I can be with you.

Matt Tully
Today we’re going to talk about a really big and yet seemingly mundane topic: the issue of work. Most of us, if we have a job, we’re doing it maybe five days a week. Other people may have different schedules, but it’s just this ever-present thing, a reality for life. We’re going to get into some of the ways that we can think Christianly about the work that we do, which is maybe easier said than done, but before we get into all of that, I wonder if you could start us off by telling us a little bit about your first job.

Bryan Chapell
My very first job. Well, I have to think back on that a little bit. My father was raised on a farm, and then he went into agribusiness. He managed many, many farms—maybe 1,000 at a time. I have to tell people my father started out in farming as a boy, running a plow behind a mule, and by the time he retired he was directing farm operations from satellites. He went through that full technology development of the last seventy-five years or so in farm management. But the consequence of my father being in agribusiness but living in the suburbs was that he always insisted that we have a large garden. The consequence of having a large garden was my father, who was so busy with operations across the country and across the continent, that his kids were the ones that worked the garden. That means I hated gardening. To this day I’ve said I am never going to have a garden again. That was at least work I did. The first job I had, as such, was actually running the radio transmitter on a large construction company in Tennessee. I dispatched asphalt trucks and repair mechanisms for the asphalt trucks. That’s how I worked my way through college. I worked for the same company every summer.

Matt Tully
So you would come back home and you would do that work?

Bryan Chapell
I would. It was a very large road construction company, and they did most of their work in the summers. I was the chief dispatcher for that company during the summers.

Matt Tully
That’s a great salt of the earth type of job to kind of start off your working career. But then you’ve had a lot of other jobs since then, some that maybe seem a little bit more “ivory tower.” Tell us a little bit more about some of the other things that you’ve done.

Bryan Chapell
You got tired of asphalt trucks so soon, Matt. I’ve been a seminary professor, I’ve been a seminary president, I’ve been a pastor, I’ve been a dishwasher, I’ve been a short-order cook—I’ve done lots of different things. But the ivory tower things are probably more about having lectures and reciting sermons and that sort of thing, which you’re referring to.

Matt Tully
Most people listening probably have not been pastors, aren’t pastors, and they haven’t taught in a seminary. Again, both of those categories of things (we’re going to get into as we keep talking) can have a kind of feel to them, or even a certain aura around them in how we think about work and how we talk about work oftentimes. What would you say are some of the similarities between some of the more “ivory tower” type of jobs and a job like being a dishwasher or a dispatcher?

Bryan Chapell
Matt, if I could go into the theology a little bit. The reason that I wrote this book on grace at work is to help people understand how God is gracing their work regardless of what it is. It may be the ivory tower stuff that you said—being a professor and writing books and that sort of thing. It may be dispatching asphalt trucks, or it may be working in a garden—all of those different things that I have done. What I have to recognize is my dignity before the Lord did not change whether I was dispatching asphalt trucks or telling students to write better sermons. Our dignity—our measure of worth—is not varied by the work that we do; it’s varied by the intention that we bring for the work. One of the things that I like saying in Grace at Work is just reminding people that we got our label before we got our labor. Way back there in Genesis, when the Lord is identifying who we are, he’s making men and women in the image of God. In the image of God he made them, male and female he made them. Before the assignment of labor, we were told that we are being made in the image of God, that we would be made in holiness and righteousness, with the ability to relate to the divine. And that he would love us as his sons and daughters, and ultimately provide redemption for us because we are made in his image. That notion of being precious to God before we’ve done a lick of work is important to understand how our labor—it’s success or failure—is not identifying our value. Rather, we get our label first. We get our “made in the image of God” label first before we’ve done work. But then we also learn that labor comes before the fall. Adam and Eve are asked to tend the garden, to do God’s work—to sustain, maintain, and make it flourish—before they mess up. Which is to say, work is not a punishment. Work is not a bad thing, and we often think of it that way. I’m not made valuable by my work—done well or done poorly—and I’m not having to do work because I’m being punished. Rather, work is a way in which I, made in the image of God, am expressing the goodness and the creativity of God. What work is doing is ultimately enabling me to worship. By work I have the opportunity to express my dignity that God has given, express the gifts that he has given, and at the same time, my work is the opportunity to represent God’s glory—“do everything to the glory of God” Paul says in Colossians. In the strange way of thinking about work, according to Scripture it’s not just the way I get a paycheck, it’s not just the way in which I express my gifts; work is worship. I’m showing the world the dignity God has given me and the glory I am to give him. My work is actually worship.

08:12 - The Inherent Dignity in Every Job

Matt Tully
I think that’s something that we can pay lip service to, the idea that we do all things to the glory of God and that all of our work is meaningful. And yet, as we’ve already alluded to, sometimes it seems like there can be, in Christian circles, a reverence for those in “ministry”—full-time ministry of some sort. This would include pastors, missionaries, perhaps seminary professors, and others engaged in some kind of full-time ministry. We kind of view those as special vocations that are uniquely positioned to serve God in a powerful way. We kind of see that in contrast to the work that many of us—most of us—do as electricians, teachers, baristas, or accountants. I wonder if you could help us think about that. Why do you think it is that we can sometimes think in that dichotomous kind of way? Is that the right way to think?

Bryan Chapell
Our Reformation heritage reminds us of the priesthood of all believers. When we are fulfilling our calling, we are priests in our realm. Wherever God is calling us to express, again, our dignity and his glory, we are witnessing to the goodness, the greatness, the sweetness, the glory of our God. In the book I love quoting Gerard Manley Hopkins, the wonderful Christian poet, and he said, “To lift up hands in prayer gives God glory.” We expect that. If you’re praying, that’s one of the most holy things that you’re supposed to do. So, to lift up hands in prayer gives God glory, but he continues, “A man with a dung fork in his hand, or a woman with a slop pail, gives him glory too. God is so great that all things give him glory if you mean that they should.” I love the last lines! I sometimes encourage people, if they don’t think much of their job, to do the George Bailey test—if you remember It’s a Wonderful Life. What would have happened in life had you not lived? If the woman with the slop pail doesn’t feed the pigs, what happens? The pigs starve. If the pigs starve, the farm family starves. If the farm family starves, then there’s not food for the town. If the town doesn’t have food, then there’s not employees for the other professions. If you do the George Bailey test, then you find that God has intentionality for every position, and if we are operating honestly, in accord with our gifts and the way he has made us, then he’s intending for us to bring him glory. If we’re made to be preachers and prayers, then yes, we bring God glory when we preach and pray and write books. But if we are people who are—and you’ll meet this people, Matt—there are people in the church who are just good at making money. They’re just good at it. You meet those people in life and you say, How do you do that? And even they don’t really know because they’re just gifted at making money. If their gift at making money is employing people, if it’s supporting the work of ministry and missions, if it’s just letting other people discern their own dignity (if they find out through whatever company or business is being sponsored by the person who knows how to make money), they are discovering their gifts and contributing to the support of their families. Again, you just keep applying the George Bailey test over and over again. You’ll find everybody has a purpose in God’s kingdom. If every person has their label before they have their labor—what’s their label? Their label is they are made in the image of God. They are precious to him. In fact, Jesus died for persons like that. Then you say, *These people are of infinite value and purpose, and to the extent that they are fulfilling their purpose with honesty and integrity, they are bringing glory to God as he intended before the foundations of the earth were laid. So, baristas, preachers, professors, musicians—all of those persons, to the extent that they are doing what God intends, are bringing him glory if they intend to do so. Now, if it’s just selfishness, maybe that’s not bringing God the glory he intended. But if they are fulfilling their calling, doing to the glory of God what he has gifted them to do in the way that he has made them and in the place that he has put them, then all honest work puts us on holy ground.

Matt Tully
That’s such a freeing and powerful understanding and realization when we kind of embrace that the right way with those nuances that you shared. You also write, “I recognize that there is a tendency among pastors, myself included, to see what is said in the Scriptures as applying primarily to the life of the church and not thinking carefully about what people are called to do the rest of the week.” Explain that. a little bit more. Why is it that even church leaders, but all of us Christians, tend to not see that inherent dignity in the work that we do?

Bryan Chapell
We all have an orientation to place in front of us what is most important. Preachers think of the life of the church as the most important thing in their lives, and the most important thing that they are to do is to teach people on Sunday who the Lord is and what he requires. But what we may forget is that Sunday is for Monday. What we’re actually doing is equipping the saints for their work of ministry. If I’m equipping the saints, I recognize the average Christian probably thinks, What is my Christian obligation at work? Well, don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal. Okay, yeah. Oh, and by the way, witness at lunch if the boss will let you.

Matt Tully
I was going to say, maybe they also feel this pressure and guilt about sharing the gospel.

Bryan Chapell
Yeah. That’s not all bad. You shouldn’t lie or cheat or steal. And if you can witness at lunch, great. In the way that we do our task with honesty and with excellence, fulfilling our jobs with the gifts that God has given us to express, then we’re still bringing God glory. We are still saying, Look what God has gifted me to do. When I apply that honestly and well, then I am honoring the God who gave those gifts. I quote different people in the book, but Jesus probably did not make tables that were wobbly. You and I know all the modern stuff that says he wasn’t a carpenter; he was a builder. So I’ll say he probably didn’t make buildings that wobbled. What did Jesus do to honor his father, and not just Joseph, but God the Father? He made good buildings. He used his skills in a way that didn’t cheat people, that showed that what God had gifted him to be able to do, he would apply well. It’s not just that our ability to witness in the workplace is the way that we bring glory to God. When a musician sings an aria with excellence that people weep for the beauty of it, then that expression of beauty is to the glory of God, who gave the voice, provided the creativity of the composer, allowed the instrumentalists to accompany the way that they did. If I say nothing happens but by the hand of God, then when I am applying myself to showing what God’s hand can do, then that’s bringing him glory. Sometimes we think the only glory in my job is that I can make enough money to give to the church or the missionaries. No. Please give money to the church or the missionaries, but doing your job well is also giving God glory. In fact, we may miss the primary impact of our work for God’s glory if we think, All I’m doing is either trying to get the paycheck for my family or a little extra to give to the church. That’s the only thing that brings glory to God. We’re actually forgetting that for the vast majority of people in the world, the vast majority of their time is bringing God glory when they are saying, By his hand I do this, and for his sake I do this. That’s bringing him glory too.

Matt Tully
It was so helpful reading what you wrote because I think I realize in my own thinking sometimes the way I can think about work is that I’m doing my job and fulfilling what god intends for my work when I’m not doing the wrong thing. We definitely would agree that we shouldn’t lie, we shouldn’t steal, and we shouldn’t cheat in our jobs. But I think you really helpfully draw out that there is a positive glorifying of God that comes when we pursue excellence in our work and do those things desiring to honor him in that work. That in and of itself pleases God in a real sense. That’s such a freeing realization.

Bryan Chapell
You said that so well. It’s thinking not only of how I’m doing but what is the goal, the end, of what I’m doing. It’s the old, old, old Martin Luther cliche. I love it so much. Even though people think it’s a cliche, I love the example of Luther talking to the bricklayers and he says to the one, “What are you doing?” “I’m laying bricks.” He asks the other, “What are you doing?” “I’m building a cathedral to the glory of God.” Physically, they’re doing exactly the same thing. But their perspectives give them the ability to either see work as oppressive or work as glorifying. I think of my family who are in different stages of life. I have older children who are at the high end of their professions at this point. They’ve been in their jobs for a while and they’re the professors and the investment counselors. They’re doing really great. I have children at the younger end of the spectrum who have just left the barista to work for the speech for the pathologist. They’re just moving along and just starting. I want to say, You are equally valuable to me. You are equally to God the Father. He has a plan for your life. As you are faithful at this level and at this stage, God will use it. Not just to change the world around you but to change you, so that what he’s calling you to do at every stage of life you are well-prepared for and able to give him glory in what you do as he’s moving your life along, preparing you at the different stages for the things that he calls you to do. I know that when you’re where we are—middle class Western society—that may be easier to say. But with intentionality, in the book I refer a few times to going to a conference in a part of our country known for cheeses. I watched a man on the assembly line. He would stand all day, and he would slightly adjust roughly every tenth brick of cheese so that it would properly fit in the packaging. I’m thinking, I’m glad that’s not me, because I would not find that fulfilling. But what has God made that man to do? He’s providing for his family. Maybe he’s just providing for himself, I don’t know. But if he were not adjusting the cheeses so the packaging didn’t fit so that it became dangerous with bacteria because it was improperly sealed, then not only would people get sick, but the factory would close, other people couldn’t work. There’s that sense of God has called that man to that purpose. If he can perceive the impact of his work faithfully carried out, then what to me, with my gifts might appear to be work that would be terribly oppressive, for that man and that purpose with the gifts and abilities he has, he’s able to supply to families and to companies gifts that sustain them all, and ultimately bring glory to God who has enabled a man and gifted a man to find fulfillment in that job. We’re wrong at times in our Western culture to think, Your job is to find that career or profession where you can be fulfilled in expressing your gifts. The vast majority of the world does work that is dull, repetitive, and mind-numbing. And yet, to the extent that people are able to see that this job, and the way that it provides for my family, for my company, for my country, for my town, provides food to eat, safety for others, can be perceived as God’s gift to use someone who is made in his image, to bring goodness and sustenance and glory to others. There is glory if we will but see it.

21:57 - Is Work Primarily a Means of Earning Money?

Matt Tully
That does relate to that issue of money—one of those topics that is inextricably bound up with work and the concept of work and our jobs. Dial in on the person who would say, My job is pretty mundane, and I don’t find a lot of meaning and purpose in the work itself. It does feel pretty boring and not intellectually stimulating like a professor or an author. If I’m being honest, I would have to say that the main reason I do this work is to earn that paycheck and take it home to my family and take care of them and support them. In light of that, is it wrong to view your job primarily as a means of earning money?

Bryan Chapell
The way you said it, I would probably say yes, it probably is. If your primary purpose is, I just need to make some money. If you said, My primary purpose is the care of my family, then I would say that’s actually a high calling. Your care of your family is a high calling. Matt, you and I know that there is no job in the world that does not have its garbage detail. Every job has something that’s unattractive in it, that’s difficult, that’s hard. So, at times all of us need to say, What is the goal? What’s the end? Why am I doing this beyond just a paycheck? I will grant you that if it’s only a paycheck, you probably can’t keep doing that job with joy forever. I hate what I do, it’s not fulfilling, it’s not challenging, but I just need the money for my family. Well, if there’s no other alternatives, by all means keep working and make the money to sustain your family. But there is a sense of calling. It’s that old notion. In our culture now, we typically talk about occupation and vocation as the same thing. But neither in the origin of language or biblically are they the same thing. My occupation is what occupies me, but my vocation literally means my calling. What has God called me to do? I am obligated, if I have options (and not all the world has options), to say, How has God made me, and for what has God made me? In that question, I am to examine more than just the paycheck. How has God made me? For what has God made me? Then I’m really examining how I am best fulfilling his purposes for my life, which is an aspect of determining what most glorifies him. To take the gifts that I have and not use them is not to fulfill the purposes for what God made me. I want to be careful because, again, we’re Westerners and we have a lot of privileges in this society. I can just say, Well, if that job is not fulfilling, I need to abandon my family’s need in order to find something that is fulfilling. That’s not your calling. You may or may not be called to a different job, but if you have a family, there is no question you are called to be a caretaker of your family. That’s undeniable. We are called to responsibility as part of our giving glory to God and being responsible to Christ in everything, whether we eat or drink, doing all to the glory of God. It’s taking care of my family because those who do not take care of their families, the apostle Paul said, are worse than pagans. “Even the pagans know to take care of their families.” If I’m taking care of my family and can do it with what is fulfilling, then by all means do what is fulfilling and find that. But responsibility is not something that is an evil. It’s something we are called to do. I’m called to express my gifts, and I’m also called to fulfill the responsibilities God has put in my life. But that is not to be onerous. If I am called to take care of other people, that labor is dignifying. It’s selfless. As much as Christ called me to take up my cross daily to honor him, there are jobs done with excellence in the mundane that actually God intends to glorify himself by saying, See, there is someone who understands a greater responsibility than selfishness.

26:27 - How Do I Know What Work to Do?

Matt Tully
I want to go back to something you said a minute ago about the distinction between occupation and vocation, with the caveat in place that, as you said, we are called to take responsibility for the things that we’re responsible for. If I’m a husband and a father, I need to take responsibility for providing for my family. But at the same time, you talked about how it can be good for us to try to discern what God has called us to and what he’s gifted us for. But something that I hear often from more young people—college students and those who have just graduated—is maybe an uncertainty about what it is that God has called them to do. They look out at the career landscape and they kind of wonder, What should I do with my life? I know how I could go earn some money, but I’m not sure that would be fulfilling. I’m not sure that would be all that God really wants me to do. What are some questions that someone could ask themself to try to discern what it is God would have them do in a career?

Bryan Chapell
That’s a great question. And by the way, I don’t think it changes at any stage in life. Matt, you know I’ve just had a recent job change. I thought the job I had for the last decade was probably going to be the bell lap. I thought, This is what I’ll be doing the rest of my life. I’m in a church, I’m pastoring a group of people that I love, and they love me. I thought that was going to be it. But in our church situation our larger denomination was in some tension, and leaders asked if I would try to help with the situation we were facing. I asked what I think every Christian at every stage of life is supposed to ask: With the gifts God has given and the opportunities he provides, what best glorifies God in what he enables me to do? I’m always required to say, With the way God has made me and the gifts he has granted me, what will most glorify God with what I do with my life? Whether you’re a preacher or whether you’re a farmer or an artist, I think that’s always the basic question. It doesn’t mean we have to get to the end of the path in the first job. Sometimes there are jobs that we recognize are meant to train us in responsibility and money handling. There are those who are apprentices before they are artisans. Those paths are perfectly appropriate. But at each step we’re still saying, With the way God has made me and the gifts he has given me—I don’t think we’re just saying, What makes me the most happy? I think we’re saying, What most enables me to fulfill the purposes for which God designed me? That’s ultimately his cause. He’s given me certain gifts and inclinations and abilities and intellect to be able to do certain things. What best fulfills the purpose for which God made me? That will bring the most glory to him. But as you and I know, that can be hard when you’re early in a career to say, What’s the end of the career? Now, I’m going to say some things and I hope it’s not too cliche: it’s always easier for God to steer a car in motion. If you just say, I’m just going to do nothing, and God will bring something by.

Matt Tully
I’m waiting for a voice from heaven.

Bryan Chapell
No, do what’s responsible and good this day, and then let God develop the next day. I think we say, What’s the opportunity of today? What gifts do I have today? What abilities do I have today? I make decisions based upon the gifts, abilities, and opportunities that are most fitting this day, and I trust God to develop the next step and the next opportunity. But you and I both know people who at times just say, Well, I’m not sure what I want to do, so I’m just going to do nothing for a while. Well, that actually is not the believer’s choice. God has rescued us from an empty way of life. We are not called to do nothing. Whether it’s service or applying the gifts that we have to building or bringing in the paycheck so that we can help other people or help the minister or mission—whatever it is—we’re not called to do nothing. As we take those responsible steps forward, God is big enough to guide the next steps and open the next doors. He can do that. But we are responsible to apply the gifts to the opportunities of today.

What’s the line between someone who is open to the next step that God has for them and is asking those questions, like you said, throughout their life—What is the best thing I can do to glorify God with my skills, abilities, and gifts? What’s the line between that and somebody who is just constantly dissatisfied and discontent and always looking for the next thing that’s going to be exciting and big in their life? I think we know people like that as well, who never seem to be happy with where they’re at. How do you know when you’re falling into that trap vs. just being open to God’s leading?

Bryan Chapell
That’s a great question, and I don’t know that I’ve got a real thoughtful answer. I think of the apostle Paul: “I’ve learned in whatever state I am, therein to be content.” That contentment is actually part of our calling as well. We’re not called to a restlessness; we’re called to say, If this is where God has me, I will do an honest, best effort here. Again, we will trust God to open the next door or guide the next steps in his timing and his way. Constant discontentment is not glorifying to God, and so we would have to say, If I’m constantly unhappy, that is not a witness to the goodness or glory, or trusting God’s provision for today. There’s a holy discontent that says if God wants me to do something else, then I’ll be willing to do that and I’ll still be trying to always ask the questions, What are my gifts? What are my abilities? Where is God calling me next? I think that’s a holy assessment of who I am and where I am, and that’s a good thing. But just to be constantly unhappy is not glorifying God. There may be those—and you and I know them and we can think of them in our lives now—where we would say, actually, life would be so much better and Christ would be so much more glorified if you were just happy, if you could be happy saying, I don’t have to be the president of the company tomorrow. I don’t have to be a millionaire by age thirty. I can take joy in what God gives me to do today, what he places in my life today, and trust that he will lead me in the path he wants me to go.

33:38 - The Elusive Work/Life Balance

Matt Tully
A final topic that I think is a fitting way to end our conversation is the issue of balance—balance in how we think about work and how we pursue work in our lives. I think we all know on the surface that we should be pursuing a balanced life, and we all kind of have that as a vague goal out there. But we don’t always know what that looks like in practice. It comes out in something a friend of yours once said to you that you quote in the book. He said, “Whenever I sit down, I feel guilty.” What was behind that comment from your friend?

Bryan Chapell
That was a pastor, and I suppose anybody in leadership feels the job is never done. There’s always more that could be done. I could read another report, I could read another article, I could visit another family (if I’m a pastor), I could start another production line (if I’m a boss). There is always more that could be done. I think the beauty of a Scriptural understanding of what we are called to do. I alluded to this before: What is my vocation? Surely, my vocation includes my occupation—the thing that makes money and that allows me to apply my gifts in work. But my calling—my vocation—includes my family if I’m a father or a mother. I’m called to take care of those that God has put into my life and who are my responsibility. One of the things that I’ve tried particularly to help those who are younger in life remember is—although, I have to remind myself often too—when you’re starting a career, scripturally, your family is not in competition with your job. Often we think, If I just sacrifice my family more, then I’ll be able to do my job better. Every job requires time away from your family, but balance comes when I say, I am called to take care of my family, even as I am called to take care of my responsibilities at work. Why is that so? Because if I make a lot of money and have great career success but my family is a mess, glory to God has not occurred. In fact, people actually perceive the priorities of that Christian person as being a mess and not glorifying God, but actually taking glory from him. If what I’m perceiving is my end goal—what I’m trying to accomplish—is whatever you eat, whatever you drink, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, then the balance between my family and my job—which will vary depending upon season and stage of life and development of the company—ultimately, if my care for my family has damaged my family, then I’m not bringing glory to God. If my primary job is bringing glory to God, then balance between occupation and family is actually what brings glory to God. This is not just something business people struggle with. So many pastors—and I would be one of them—say, I feel like the more I can abandon my family the better I can do my job. You have to say, Actually, you don’t have any ministry if your family falls apart. Your family is not in competition with your job. If your job is glory to God, then your family is part of your job, even as your occupation is part of your job, because they are both your calling.

Matt Tully
That’s such a helpful way to think of vocation as this broad category of glorifying God in all of our life, and our occupation—the thing that we are paid to do—is part of that. The way that we interact with our family is part of that. As a last category, how does rest and relaxation fit into pursuing a balanced life that ultimately does glorify God to the fullest?

Bryan Chapell
With some thanksgiving, we would say the concept of a sabbath is having a little bit of a resurgence right now in Christian culture. That’s because with virtual work and with changes of schedule, the separation between home and work becomes less and less distinct. You can work all the time. You can make more money that way, and you can be more successful that way, in terms of job success. Why is sabbath having a notion again of rest? It does so much good to my soul to recognize God can do more with six days of my labor than I can do with seven days of my labor. If there’s never time for my God, if there’s never time to sit back and say, God, you know what? I need some rest. You take over for a while. All of us need to say that. I’m not fearful that my time of worship and family relationships and rest are beyond the hand of God to take care of. Believing that I have a God who is sovereign and actually commands my rest, my rest from my labor so that I can rest in him. Then what? I can serve him even better because I’m so well-rested. That’s resting in my soul because of my worship of him, believing in him, trusting in him, and bringing him glory. It’s resting in my family—building those relationships so it really is haven for my heart when the labor is hard or the relationships are difficult at work. That building of rest into my week is actually part of being able to do my job better. I have to believe that God really can use that rest, and that God can provide for me when I’m not working all the time, because I’m fulfilling his commandment to rest in him. That balance and that rest is part of worshiping God, which we’re also called to. So, my vocation includes my occupation, my worship, and my relationships. Those are all my vocations—my calling before God—and I cannot do them if I have no rest. Rest is actually part of my vocation as well, if I’m thinking about what God has called me to do so that I can bring him glory in every aspect of my life.

Matt Tully
That is the goal that we’re pursuing, not a paycheck and not a certain position at work. We pursue something much bigger than that. Bryan, thank you so much for taking the time today to talk with us and share a little bit about your own experience working for God’s glory, and giving us some advice as well along those lines.

Bryan Chapell
Thank you, Matt. It’s a privilege to be with you.


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