God is in the Shop

This is a guest post by Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston Salem, NC. You can find out more about him here or hear his expositions of Scripture at gbcnc.org. This post is reprinted with the gracious permission of the author. 

Where pragmatism rules, morality is based on selfish expediency. Such can be the shadowy side of public commerce – places where many of God’s people invest their days. Does God care about your work? A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight (Prov. 11:1). God’s interest is in your real, daily, practical life.

Apprenticeship

God is in the shop as well as in the church.

We err when we think of the church building as the “house of God,” for that implies that the building houses the presence of God. Therefore it is there that we must be holy. From this perspective we have no real sense of how God “applies” to our work place. Two biblical truths (among many) shatter this paradigm. First, “heaven of heavens cannot contain You, how much less this temple.” Second, “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you… therefore glorify God in your body.” Assuming your body is at work, you glorify God not so much by singing hymns as by honest business – “a just weight is His delight.”

God’s people we are called to conduct that clearly reflects Him – “conduct worthy of the gospel of Christ,” and “a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Your dealings with others, personal and public, are to be built upon a foundation of integrity constructed with the building blocks of the mind of Christ (others more important than yourself) fastened with the mortar of the ambition to please Him. Commercial dishonesty is unloving, greedy and deceitful – it is contrary to God’s character and purpose.

Your public transactions have implications in five arenas: 1) Theological – they reflect your view of God; 2) Legal – they reflect your commitment to the precepts of God’s Word and the law of the land; 3) Social – they reflect your resolve to participate in building a community of trust; 4) Exemplary – they reflect your dedication to being the salt and light of the world, an ambassador of the King; 5) Spiritual – they reflect the true condition of the inner man regardless of what may be declared on the outside.

Indifference to principle (God’s character and purpose) in the common transactions of the work day makes it impossible to be truly Christ-like in anything or on any day. If principle, on the other hand, is the basis of all your transactions, then what you do is done “unto the Lord, and not unto men.”