Daniel and His Buds

By David Cross

In the first article in this four part series, I shared how Scripture models the Intrinsic Value view of work. Your work has meaning in and of itself and models God’s creative work of bringing order out of chaos.

In this article, we look at an extension of that principle, namely, the integration of work and faith for witness.

“God endowed them with knowledge and skill in all sorts of literature and wisdom…When the king spoke with them, he did not find among the entire group anyone like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, or Azariah…In every matter of wisdom and insight the king asked them about, he found them to be ten times better than any of the magicians and astrologers that were in his entire empire.”

Daniel 1.17,19-20

Daniel and his friends had God-given abilities, but they added to that a lot of hard work. Through that hard work, they witnessed to those around them and even saw two kings of Unreached People Groups come to faith in God.

Integrating work and faith for witness is a New Testament principle as well.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Colossians 3.23-24

The principle is expressed in Titus 2.7-8, Ephesians 4.28, Proverbs 22.29, Matthew 5.16, or myriad other verses that underscore this tight integration between work and faith. A simple way of summarizing this is, “Your work ethic reflects your faith epic.

Do we really work as though we believe these verses? If so, we should be creating a new class of workers. Employers should be scrambling to hire Christians because their work ethic is so strong.

Everyone knows there are lazy workers. Then, there are transactional workers who will work well if you pay them well. Then, there are career workers who work hard because it will get them more money or power. Then, there are Christians who for some reason are the best workers and care deeply about their work almost as though something else is giving them purpose.

Being that sort of worker creates an Environment of Intrigue. Our work makes people wonder what makes us different. Our work becomes an opening to share the reason for the hope and transformation in us (1 Peter 3.15).

Is it enough, then, to work hard and leave it at that? Is this just the old phrase, “Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words”?

It is not enough. All of the good things we do create the Environment of Intrigue, but they have to know the source of those good works in order to “give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5.16).

Your work ethic reflects your faith epic. So, work hard! Work in such a way that people are forced to ask what drives you. Then, speak the truth! Share your story and the reason for the hope that is in you when your work opens the door.

Next article: Mission vs. Missions 


This article is submitted by David Cross of Professionals Global.  Professionals Global is a Missio Nexus member.  Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

David Cross is president of Professionals Global and author of the newly released book Work of Influence: Principles for Professionals from the Book of Daniel. Professionals Global is a mission training agency for fervent followers of Jesus to have effective witness through the integration of work and faith among the unreached. They serve mission sending agencies by offering courses to equip overseas workers as global professionals, language learners and those in Disciple Making Movements.

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