Work and Relationships

The average American worker spends a great deal of time on the job. About 60% of all adults over the age of 16 are employed in our country. We value work. We believe in working for a living. As troubled as our society can be at times, the fact remains that we have a strong and healthy respect for work in our culture.

As human beings, God has designed us for relationships. We are hardwired to be social creatures. Since we spend so much time at work, it is quite safe to say that most of us have developed all kinds of working relationships. The overall theme for this Bible Study material is: Planted in Community to Build Relationships.

We have a unique opportunity through our jobs to build relationships. These relationships often merge into networks that become beneficial resources for us both personally and professionally. I belong to some “official” networks and some “unofficial networks” in my professional life.

“Official” networks are webs of relationships that are more formal and have some kind of membership requirements. There are professional organizations that are unique to vocational fields that offer members all kinds of benefits. “Unofficial” networks are much more informal and don’t have requirements spelled out. These are more relational and affinity-based in nature.

These networks and webs of relationships provide us with resources for learning and improvement in our jobs. They also serve as bridges to new employment opportunities and promotions. We also have the opportunity to engage others in our respective vocational field so they we may stay informed about best practices and technological breakthroughs.

These relational networks also afford us opportunities to be effective instruments in the Kingdom of God. God has planted us at our places of employment. I would encourage you to look for ways to be an influence for the Kingdom through the relationships you have established through your vocational endeavors.

In order to be the most effective and useful instrument in God’s hands, we need to have a Biblically-informed perspective on our vocational calling and commitments. There are several passages of Scripture that serve as a foundation in this regard. One of those is buried in our Old Testament in the book of Proverbs.