Had I been on trial for a right understanding of work, I would have been found guilty. Had you asked me about the dignity of work two and a half years ago, I would have given you a beautifully wrapped answer outlining 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Of course, work has dignity. If “whatever you do” could be done to the glory of God, then certainly work could glorify God. I knew this, but I didn’t actually believe it—that is, until I sat down one day during my City Life discipleship group and thought about how exactly the pants I was wearing came to be.
I remember the specific pair of pants I was wearing because I had to purchase work clothes. My typical sweatpants and Nike shorts wouldn’t be acceptable for my summer internship. Who knew that a pair of black pants with white polka dots would totally change my understanding of work?
Can YOU Make a Pair of Pants from Scratch?
The question that sparked this journey in my head was, “What if I was responsible for the entire process of making my own pants?” Maybe you’re reading this and thinking you could do it because you know how to sow. But let’s take this all the way back. First, there would have to be some kind of fiber that was spun into something like yarn. I don’t know where to find such a fiber or how to spin it. Then, the yarn would have to be knit or woven to create cloth. Again, I have no idea how to do this. Cloth is then finished by something called wet processes. I don’t even know what that is, let alone how to do it. Finally, it has to be dyed or printed by embroidering with colored yarns. All of that happens before you can even get to the sewing part. Clearly, if I were responsible for making my own pants, I would be in a lot of trouble.
All Kinds of Work Are Glorifying to God
I am incredibly grateful that my only responsibility in the pants process is purchasing them. In turn, I am incredibly grateful—and indebted in a sense—for those who are a part of every step in the pants-making process. Prior to City Life, my honest belief was that if someone wasn’t sharing the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, it was a waste of time. In my mind and heart, I had elevated vocational ministry and decided that all other work was second class, especially more menial jobs like spinning yarn. However, through City Life, I not only learned that marketplace vocations were equally glorifying to God, but that all work was equally glorifying to God, from making pants to performing open heart surgeries.
Maybe you’re like me. You would never say it out loud, but deep down you believe that some work is more glorifying to God than other work. You need your heart to be changed to see that all work has dignity because we have a God who works and invited us to work as well. City Life is for you!
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-Greta Griswold (2 yr. College Resident)