What Does It Mean to Represent Jesus in My Job?

Fulfilling Our Purpose in the World

If we are representing Jesus in our work, it means there's value to our work because we are showing the world his character and care—and that's always part of our witness. And that's an important thing. It's also important to recognize that in representing Jesus, we are fulfilling the purposes he has for ordering the world.

Dorothy Sayers once said, in trying to represent what we do in our jobs, that we should not just be commending the heart surgeons and the Supreme Court justices, but we should recognize that every person—in doing their job well—is fulfilling God's purpose in that aspect of the world.

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. 

When Jesus was a carpenter, he did a job with excellence. She says there were no crooked legs on the tables that Jesus made. Why is that? Because he's reflecting the character and care of his Father when he is being a good carpenter. And that means he's not taking advantage of people. He's making sure that the job reflects diligence, honesty, and integrity. All of those are what the world expects to see in God, and so we're reflecting it in our character.

We Will Have Trouble

We have to say as well that if we are imaging or reflecting Christ, we will face persecution. It is the way the master went. Should not the servant expect it still? Jesus said, If you follow me, you will be persecuted.

So we have to say that living with absolute integrity, witnessing goodness and faithfulness selflessly, is against the current of society. I've even worked for a company in my youth in which I was urged to fudge on my expense report. Why? Because everybody did it. And it was just the way the company gave a little more money to people as a bonus—you just fudged on your expense. Everybody did it. Everybody knew it. Well, I couldn't do that.

I sacrifice for the good of others, and in doing so, I actually find joy that God is using my sacrifice, my gifts, and my calling to make Jesus better known.

Well, now it doesn't look like you're a team player. Now it looks like you're trying to make other people look bad. Do you think that you are better than other people? And you suddenly recognize that by doing God's work, in God's way, the world will not always appreciate you. And so you're prepared for the persecution, the ridicule, the lack of understanding by understanding if Jesus was ridiculed, persecuted, and misunderstood, then those who try to reflect him should expect that.

If it's my calling to reflect Christ, then the theology of the cross takes over. I sacrifice for the good of others, and in doing so, I actually find joy that God is using my sacrifice, my gifts, my calling, to make Jesus better known. And that's hard, but it's not bad. It's something we actually can rejoice in.

Bryan Chapell is the author of Grace at Work: Redeeming the Grind and the Glory of Your Job.

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