- De Pree Center
- Life for Leaders
- Church & Marketplace
- Contact Us
Christians sometimes get confused about how to respond to God’s commandments. Some of us think, for example, that all of the commandments of Scripture are no longer relevant for us since we are saved by God’s grace through Christ. Others of us pay lip service to salvation by grace, but we live as if we have to earn God’s love through obedience to his commandments. By loving God, we believe, we can get God to love us in return.
If we want to love someone well, then we need to know that person well. The better we know someone, the better we will be able to love him or her.
So it is with God. If we are to love God, then we need to know God.
If we are to love God at work, and, for that matter, if we are to love God in any context of our lives, we need first to listen. Like the Israelites, we need to hear what God says to us about himself and about ourselves. We need to pay attention to who God has revealed himself to be and who we are as God’s creatures, made in his image for his particular purposes.
We often think of work as the place of toughness, whether one is doing tough physical labor or making tough decisions or dealing with tough HR issues. Work is a place for strength, endurance, commitment, decisiveness, strategic thinking, and, perhaps, visionary innovation.
But what about love? Is work also a place for love? Do love and work go together? Or should love stay at home and at church, in our personal lives, but not in the rough and tumble world of work?
In the last couple of days we have been examining Mark 12:12-17, an interaction between several Jewish leaders and Jesus. They had trap him, asking Jesus a question about taxation, which, no matter his answer, seemed to force him either to denounce Rome or to disappoint his followers. Yet, Jesus’s response to the trick question, using the image and inscription on a Roman coin, enabled him to escape from the trap.
What Jesus understood was that human beings bear God’s image, even as Roman coins bear the image of Caesar. We were created in God’s image and likeness, according to Genesis 1:26-27.
Then Jesus added something that reframed the whole issue: “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (12:17). How intriguing! It’s as if Jesus were saying that the whole taxation issue wasn’t the main point. What people did with Caesar’s money didn’t matter nearly as much with what they did with that which belonged to God.
One of the reasons many of us struggle with forgiveness is that we misunderstand what it is . . . and what it is not. Yet, if we are going to follow Jesus’s teaching and forgive others so that God might forgive us, then we had better know what we should do . . . and not do.
Search Life For Leaders
Tags1 Corinthians 1 John 1 Kings 1 Peter 1 Samuel 1 Thessalonians 1 Timothy 2 Corinthians 2 Timothy Acts Advent Ash Wednesday Christmas Colossians Deuteronomy Easter Ephesians Esther Exodus Galatians Genesis Good Friday Habakkuk Hebrews Holy Week Isaiah James Jeremiah John Lamentations Lent Luke Mark Matthew Philippians Proverbs Psalms race reconciliation Revelation Romans Stations of the Cross Thanksgiving Theology of Work Project Zephaniah
Life for Leaders Archives