“So we built the wall… for the people had a mind to work.” -Nehemiah 4:6
The setting for the story of Nehemiah is that the people of Israel had been in captivity for 70 years and God has now granted that they should return to Jerusalem to rebuild the city. So the rebuilding of Jerusalem was more than just building another city it was a sign of God’s mercy towards his people and a sign of his people turning back to him after years of rebellion. It was in a sense a ministry of reconciliation. This reconciliation was demonstrated not only in the work that they did but by the heart with which they did it.
Sometimes we lose motivation at work because we don’t have a vision for it. It just becomes something we do simply because we have to in order to survive. And as great as surviving is, we want to know that our work means something more. The truth is you can have a vision worth working for and you don’t even have to change your career.
You see, in Colossians 1:19-20 we’re told that God is reconciling ALL THINGS to himself through Christ. All things means all things – the whole created order. And that includes YOUR WORK! Consider the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was Jewish tax collector for the Roman government. He cheated and extorted people and therefore became rich by false and unsavory means. But after he met Jesus all that changed. He repaid the people he cheated four times the amount he extorted and even gave half of his wealth to the poor. You see, once he was reconciled to God so was his work. The way he operated his business was a demonstration of the mercy and reconciliation he had received and the people around him benefited because of it.
Likewise, your work can be a demonstration of God’s mercy and righteousness. You can literally reveal God’s nature to the people around you by the way you work and what you do with your income. Are other people benefiting somehow from your work? Are you demonstrating God’s character through your work? If so, you are a part of God’s mission to reconcile all things to himself through Christ – that’s a vision worth working for!