Integrating Faith with Your Work
A few years ago, my pastor was preaching on holistic faith. “If you go through the whole day,” he said, “and never have a thought about God, your priorities may be out of whack.”
The guilt set in.
I was an English teacher. Once the first bell rang, I lived and breathed literature with my students all day long. I bounced around the room doing my best to serve them. I raced through email. I snarfed lunch down in 30 seconds, then rushed to hall way duty. Between classes, I tried to check the boy’s restroom. (It was always disgusting.)
Thinking through my typical day, I decided the pastor was missing the mark in his advice to the church. Sure, he thought about God all day. That was his job.
My job was to serve high school students and teach them to write and communicate and believe in themselves. It took all of my brain to do that. My brain doesn’t have a fancy dual processor. I’m not good at being double-minded, nor do I think it would even be good.
Which is to say this. Praying without ceasing doesn’t make me think I should keep a running silent prayer going in my head while I’m trying to teach English, edit The High Calling, or check the cleanliness of a bathroom. Instead, it means that I should approach all of these things–teaching, editing, potty patrol–as a kind of prayer offering to God.
Recently, on The High Calling, I read an article by Susan DiMickele about the connection between our personal life and our work. Something she said at the end reminded me that we don’t have to consciously integrate our faith and work. Sometimes it is conscious. But often the integration happens through reflection at the end of the day or at the end of a week.
Susan writes, “I too fight against a life of dualism. Many days, I don’t have a spiritual thought in the office. And I certainly don’t view my professional life as an extension of my personal life. It’s just easier to keep things separate.”
Like Susan, I’ve had many days without a single spiritual thought. But this doesn’t mean she and I have embraced dualism. It simply means our brains can only process so much at a time. When faced with complex tasks that require deep concentration and focus, we focus.
Later, we reflect. Later, we evaluate our integration. Later, we look back and see where God was with us in that moment even though we were not consciously aware of his presence.
We don’t have to work hard to integrate faith and work. God gives us this integration by grace. The more we pay attention to what he is doing, the more peace we will feel. But he is working in and through our lives regardless.
Photo cc by Lauren Manning on Flickr.
- Warren Robison just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Gary Weed created a new gallery
- Gary Weed just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lyn Rossano just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Tina Jagneaux just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Jeremy Riley just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Flashback: How to Stop Victim Mentality and Thinking in Kids and Teens.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Divine Healing Will Be Fully Realized When Jesus Returns.
- Brandi McElheney just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood published the audio If You Want to be Successful, Stop Being So Accessible | Michael Hyatt.
- John Rutledge published the article New study suggests religion can predict sexual behavior.
- Jeff Reiter just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Candace Andrews just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood uploaded a photo
- Joe Padilla just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Chris Peek published the blogpost Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' Part II | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video The Counselor: Why Do You Doubt? | Craig Groeschel.
- Ancuta Rusu-Sieng just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Brad Russell shared How to Create and Manage a Blog (Part 1) | Tutorial: NEW BLOGGERS: You can network your blog into the site by clicking Manage My Loft/Blog. Here's a video explaining how to create and manage your blog in FV.
- Dave Jenkins, Jr. created a new gallery
- Brad Russell uploaded a photo
- Dave Jenkins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Drew DyckMy interview on the Logos blog on how we try to domesticate God. http://blog.vyrso.com/2014/04/23/stop-trying-to-tame-god-rediscovering-dangerous-christianity/
- Blake Atwood published the audio Reimaginining God's Eternal Purpose: Part I | Frank Viola.
- Victor Nunez just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost Baylor alum appointed to National Commission on Hunger.
- Dorothy Greco published the blogpost Relevant Magazine: Fear Doesn’t Have to Control Us.
- Lauren Sturdy published the article Fostering Adventures: Veteran Parents Rebuild Lives.
- Blake Atwood shared Getting Your Small Group to Like You: "If people genuinely don’t like you, and you’re a representation of Christ for them, then there’s a great chance you’re acting as a barrier for them to enjoying Jesus. It would be wise for us to not be a barrier. How to you get your small group to like you? Well you can start by taking a shower before group. Then, let’s get to the more important things." — Ben Reed
- Britni Wood published the blogpost IT’S HERE! Get the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle NOW!!!!.
- Deb Wolf published the blogpost A Dozen Things You Can Do to Start Really Living Today.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Kidnapped Boy, 10, Sang A Gospel Song For 3 HOURS Until Abductor Set Him Free.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Who Suffer A Concussion More Likely To Attempt Suicide: study.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost New Teen Deadly LSD-Like Drug 25I, or N-bomb Trends.
- Scott Couchenour published the blogpost Serve Strong: An Interview With Author Terry Powell (part 1).