Resource Review – Our Work Loves Our Neighbor. Did Jesus Waste Most of His Life?

Colossians 3:23, NIV

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Have you ever stopped to ponder why Jesus didn’t start his active, documented ministry until he was 30 years old? He was the son of God! Why didn’t the Gospels start following his work from the time He could speak?

Because, quite simply, He went to work. Jesus was raised by a carpenter, and no doubt He took up the family business as soon as He was old enough to hold a hammer. He was His father’s apprentice. He worked with His hands. He created useful things. He served His family. His “ministry” was shockingly mundane, deep in the weeds of everyday life.

Your Work is Significant

In the book, Our Work Loves Our Neighbor. Did Jesus Waste Most of His Life?, authors Baugh, Gilman, and Hotaling proclaim that the everyday work of a Christ follower is incredibly significant to the Kingdom of God. As described by co-author Kent Hotaling, the key points of the book are the following:

  • To explain why the daily work of our careers matters to God. As we apply the unique skills God gives each one of us, we are obeying Him and accomplishing significant work for His Kingdom.
  • To explain that the vast majority of careers in this world produce goods and services that bring love to others in critical ways. Work is a primary vehicle through which we love our neighbor.
  • To encourage those in vocational ministry to affirm and support the people in their congregations as they go about their daily work.

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Don’t Discredit Your Work

Did Jesus waste most of his life? No, absolutely not. His time as a quiet, hard-working carpenter was a critical part of His ministry here on earth. 

This book is a tremendous encouragement particularly to Christ followers who are not in vocational ministry. It emphasizes that every type of career can and should be a mission field. Whether you are a pastor, a stay-at-home parent, a farmer, a factory worker, a delivery driver, or a garbage handler, your vocation is significant in the Kingdom of God.