Dignity of All Work

The dignity of all work(2) is a theme that gets brought up a lot. If you understand why all work is dignified, it will radically change the way you view your work. Guaranteed.

Simple truth: All work is dignified.

Another way to say that might be to say that all work has worth.

All types of work, if it’s work with your hands or work with your mind, has dignity.  All work offers us dignity because it reflects the image of God in us.

Work has dignity because it is something that God does, and because we get to do it in God’s place here on earth. All kinds of work have dignity. (3)

Our God is complex and diverse, with many characteristics. No single person (outside Jesus) could ever hope to reflect all of his attributes and characteristics.

Let me paint a picture for you (4): a woman sits in a penthouse board room making quarterly projections for a fortune 500 company, as she’s talking, an intern brings her a cup of coffee, outside of the office janitorial staff clean the restrooms.

When you think about those roles – CEO, intern, janitorial staff – you may feel a gap. You might be thinking “those things aren’t like the other. Even Dora the Explorer could explain that.” But the gap you perceive isn’t a gap in dignity, it’s a gap in responsibility, or a gap in function.

Each of those individuals reflects a unique aspect of God which brings their work unique dignity and worth.

The CEO, the intern, the janitor (and the barista!) – they all face unique challenges throughout the day with unique opportunities to serve God and others. They each reflect a unique image of a glorious God.

This has implications for you too. Where do you sit right now? What do you do? I promise you that no matter where you are or what your or position is, you have a totally unique opportunity to reflect God’s character in a way no one else can.

I promise you that.

Your work matters today because it is fully unique. No one. No. One. Can bear God’s image the specific way you can. (1)

(1) Hey! Was that last line useful? As it turns out, it was less than 140 characters… you could tweet it. That’s a thing I would appreciate.

(2) When I say all work, I mean most work… some work is excluded. For example: the job of a pimp is not one that aligns with or reflects God’s character. Outside the obvious outliers though, pretty much everything works out.

(3) Did I say dignity enough? Has the word stopped making sense yet?

(4)  But not really “paint” a picture… It’s a word picture… that’s a real thing I just made up.

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