The Gospel Changes Everything. So, What’s Missing?

November 15, 2022

The Gospel changes everything. So, why does it feel like something’s missing? 

The Gospel transforms everything. On an individual level, our hearts are new and from our hearts flow our sense of identity, purpose, and desire. Loving God is chief of those desires followed by loving our neighbor. All of this is empowered by the overwhelming love of Christ, shown to us. 

But, what's missing? Where are our blind spots? I believe when it comes to our work life, there’s often a hole in our wholeness. 

What do I mean? In our society, attaching our identity to our work is acceptable. Often times it's how we introduce ourselves and others, "Hey Ben, I want you to meet Anthony. He's a … (fill in the blank)". 

We can often derive a sense of worth and security from the type of work we do. I'd go so far as to say, we can even find belonging and comfort in working in a particular industry or for a specific company. 

God, however, never intended our work to provide these things: identity, worth, belonging. The hole in our wholeness remains because Jesus isn't there. 

Jesus' love must be our motivation for our work. Because when he is, our work brings proper glory to the father and demonstrates authentic wholeness. 

When the Love of Christ galvanizes our identity, everything we do is rightly motivated. More specifically, two areas are significantly impacted when the love of Christ compels our work: Namely, our Resolve and Relationships. As we seek to live a more intentionally integrated and flourishing life, we must allow the power of the Gospel to transform us. 

Christ lived, died, and resurrected to move us from a fractured and fragmented existence to the wholeness we intuitively search for. 

Resolve

The Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church and states emphatically that the love of Christ compelled, controlled him: 

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all; therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." 2 Cor. 5:14-15

So, what has the Gospel of grace and the power of God in Christ led you to resolve? Perhaps, you’ve concluded that your work is no longer meant for or tied to your self-worth or identity. Or maybe you recognize a need for love to be the central, controlling force in your career. 

Think about it: How would the love of Christ change how you show up every day to work? What would it look for you to live and work without the pressure of maintaining that “perfect” curated image? 

Imagine the freedom of no longer living for self-actualization or self-worth, but for a greater more transcendent purpose! Imagine resolving that your work is worth more than the transient trinkets of exotic vacations, padded retirement accounts, high-tech cars, and large estates. What if there was a far superior reward?

What have you resolved about the things you put your hands to do? Does the work of our hands really matter to God? I believe it does. In fact, it is the primary means by which we live out our humanity for God’s glory. 

Every aspect of our lives matters because we are created to live as image-bearers of our creator. 

Resolve today to experience the whole manifestation of your humanity. Because when we are living righteously recklessly, with nothing to prove, nothing to hide, and nothing to fear, we show the world that our life is not our own. People will see that the love of God is our greatest motivation. 

 Relationships

Relationships are also impacted when the love of Christ compels our work. But how?  

Think of the teams you work with or lead. What causes the dysfunction and lack of productivity? 

Patrick Lencioni says it best in his book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team

  1. 1) Absence of Trust. Distrust stems from an unwillingness to be open about their mistakes, weaknesses, and needs. (invulnerability)
  2. 2) Fear of Conflict.  Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in an unfiltered and passionate debate of ideas. (artificial harmony)
  3. 3) Lack of commitment.  If team members are unable to have their opinions and desires heard, then they will lack 100% commitment and buy-in to decisions. (ambiguity)
  4. 4) Avoidance of accountability.  With a lack of real commitment, there is no clear plan of action, and no accountability or calling out of unproductive or counter-productive behaviors. (low standards)
  5. 5) Inattention to results.  This occurs when team members put their individual needs, such as ego, career, recognition, comfort, or even the needs of their teammates, above the collective goals. (Status, ego)

Now, imagine a team, your team, compelled by the love of Christ. What would change? 

We would resolve that we have nothing to prove so that vulnerability would produce more significant levels of trust. Knowing that we have nothing to fear in conflict, we would have healthy debate and accountability would be welcomed. In addition, we would resolve that we have nothing to lose, so we would be free to put the needs of others ahead of our own. We would be free to connect and love others, so they know we care about them. 

This would indeed be living out Jesus in everyday encounters. 

Making it Practical

I propose an exercise. Set a reminder on your phone each week for the next month to ask yourself three self-preservation questions: 

What am I afraid of losing? 

What am I trying to hide?

What am I trying to prove? To Whom?

Write down your responses and one clear action step you can take to guard against the behaviors and tendencies you identify. 

When you let the love of Christ compel and control every aspect of your life – especially your work life – people will notice. Why? Because when we no longer live for ourselves but for the glory of the one who died and was raised to life, your workplace will be transformed because the love of Christ is transforming you.

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Written by: Global Contributor, Mwamba Johnson – International Career Coach

Mwamba Johnson is a Certified Career Coach for Scatter Coaching. He’s passionate about helping individuals optimize self-leadership, create more significant influence, and generate positive organizational impact. He is emphatic about assisting others in leveraging resources, relationships, and technology to solve real-world challenges as an expression of the love of Christ. He has a B.S. in Finance from Tuskegee University and has worked with emergent leaders for almost two decades, coached vocational missionaries in sustainability practices, and led a non-profit as Executive Director. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife of almost 21 years and five children.

Tagged as: Spiritual Development  

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