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We got together for chat and mutual benefit. Mutual benefit was the basis for the discussion. We’ve become so self-contained, heck there could be a person in the next cube/office and if you had no need to know that person, they’d be pretty much a stranger. There seems to this prevalent attitude in the world, whether at home or at the job, where if I don’t have to deal with someone, then I don’t bother.
And of course the church too. The vast majority of people go to church for what they get out of it, do we really think that is the point? The same with work. My response; try that with your spouse and let me know how that goes.
Hi honey, I’m here because I want something from you, then I’m going away to some place where I’d rather be, something more fun, or more rewarding … Then you?
We’ve been using Dr Gene Veith’s book “God at work”. “In God’s design, each person is to love his or her neighbors and to serve them with the gifts appropriate to each vocation. This means that I serve you with my talents and you serve me with your talents. The result is a divine division of labor in which everyone is constantly giving and receiving in a vast interchange of unity of diverse people in a social order whose substance and energy is love.”
When you are at worship you should be receiving from God. You being there really isn’t for God’s benefit, He’s giving to you, He’s building you, He’s giving you forgiveness in the Body and Blood, He is giving you food from the Pastor’s sermon. Hey, Jesus endured torture and a miserable death to give you the assurance of eternal life, where else are you going to get that? Quit looking for the whiz bang, quick fix and take a minute to think about where you were a year ago, five years, ten years. You have grown, you have helped others see Jesus in their own lives, you have blessed other people with just your presence and likewise you have benefited from the saints who are more mature in their faith. Is the benefit always readily obvious? No. But is their a benefit anyway? Yes.
Maybe this doesn’t happen in your workplace, I’ve been blessed, I’ve worked in organizations that have really pushed for people to come together as a team and the blessings of this synergy are obvious. Paul tells us, in 1 Cor 12: 18-25, about being part of the Body of Christ. Paul is clear that the Body, the Church, is only effective when we are there to serve each other, to build each other. You grow so much more when you are helping another to grow. Anyone who has had to teach something will tell you they end up learning more then the students. Point is you grow not just when you are taking, but when you are giving, when you are helping others to be part of the church, to be part of the Body of Christ.
Certainly the same is in the workplace. So many people love to describe themselves as a “team player”. If you ask others around her/him, they probably won’t know what they are talking about. When you truly are a team player, then your bosses will know it and you will truly know it, likewise in the church. If you are there to disciple, to serve, others know it, others gravitate to you, you grow. Does God bless that, does God move you, use you mightily? Yes, maybe not in the way you wanted or in the way you thought He should, but He is. God serves you, God blesses us with so much, do we allow the Holy Spirit to work through us to serve others, always to the glory of God?
Do you really think it is glorifying God to live in your own little world, doing what you need to do, avoiding any unnecessary contact and then scurrying away as soon as possible? Is that how we build a relationship with God? With our co-worker? As I said, with our spouse? Maybe it is and maybe that is where your life is missing a lot, n’ est pas?