As children we watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and listened, as the animals in Snow White’s house performed their housework, while she sang:
Just whistle while you work
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place
So hum a merry tune
It won’t take long when there’s a song to help you set the pace
The scene of Snow White cheerfully whistling and singing while she and the animals swept the floor and washed the dishes seems a bit idealistic, doesn’t it? That’s fine for a children’s cartoon, but not the way things go in the real world. Our tune more likely begins with “grumble while you work.”
Imagine what would happen if we brought our work into the realm of our following Jesus Christ. Would it change the way we think about what we do as a homemaker or a business executive?
This goes all the way back to Creation. Genesis tells us that humans were created in God’s image and immediately given work to do:
“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.’ … God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” (Genesis 1:26,28).
Beyond that God has called us to join Him in His redemptive work in this world.
“The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers…” (I Corinthians 3:8-9a).
So we are privileged to work with God in His glorious purposes for the creation and for the re-creation of all things.
And we are to see our daily lives and work in this context. It floods all we do each day with meaning and purpose … even the tasks that are routine and mundane.
So we are called to work with God. But we are also called to work like God. Just think of God doing His great work in creation. At each step along the way He stepped back and said, “It is good!” He rejoiced in His work. It was impossible for God to do anything other than His best. Scientist will explore the universe until time is no more, and they will never get to the bottom (or the top) of the magnificence of God’s creative work.
So when we work like God we give it our best, and rejoice in what we do. And the Scriptures admonish us…
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him … Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Colossians 3:17,23).
So as Christ-followers we live out our high calling in the work we have to do each day in our studies, in our manufacturing, in our housecleaning, in our parenting, or in our computing.
Ask yourself these questions as you go about your work:
- How might God be working through me today as I do my work?
- If I did my work today like God did His work, what would it look like?
- If I knew God was with me, what difference would make in my attitude and actions at work?
Whistle while you work, and your fellow-worker may think you’re odd. But worship and witness while you work and they’ll see something is really unique about you.