Spiritual-mindedness in an intellectual job

Discussion in 'The Pilgrims Progress' started by Harley, Feb 15, 2019.

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  1. Harley

    Harley Puritan Board Sophomore

    Seven years ago I had a manual job working on factory lines. Pay was just enough for a single guy living at home because it demanded unskilled labor. Though, with such repetitive tasks I was able to think on spiritual things almost without interruption and still do good work. Matthew Henry observed that David's work as a shepherd was a blessing because the work gaved him much time to think on spiritual thing.

    Now I'm a CPA, I do taxes for a living, and we are in our busy season. My work is intellectual, and I love having such challenging work! However, my profitability depends on focus and concentration of the subject matter in a way not required before, so any time I turn my thoughts at all away from the work I'm given to do, it's a threat to my profitability--for one, lost billability, and distraction is especially bad for productivity in such cases. Doing things like listening to sermons while working is more often than not a productivity killer. At the end of some days though, you feel like your soul has again cleaved to the dust.

    Simple question, for fellow professionals, how do you stay spiritually minded and continually worship God throughout the day without failing to be productive? How do you continually commune with God on a day where doing things such as actively meditating or singing interfere with the ability to get your work done?
  2. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I know this does not address your question overly helpfully, but rest assured that when you do your job, which God gave you, to the best of your ability, you are giving him worship.
  3. TheOldCourse

    TheOldCourse Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think that you're laying a burden on yourself that isn't yours to bear. It's implicit in the fourth commandment that our labors take us away from the active worship of God and yet they are still good. If you had a vocation that allowed you to commune with God even in its performance, that is a great blessing, but the ordinary manner of our earthly existence is that our attention must needs be on the matter before us. We ought to make time apart from our secular duties to commune with and worship the Lord both weekly and daily. In that, however, is a recognition that we cannot, ordinarily, actively commune with God during our secular duties. There is a passive communion, of course, through the Holy Spirit and our efforts to work uprightly and as becoming of Christians, but for most of us we cannot be both monks and laborers.

    Take satisfaction in your labors and your provision and care for your family, knowing that God greatly approves it when done in a right spirit. Then, make time in your daily routine apart from your labors to be refreshed in your spiritual communion.
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  4. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    As you mentioned, David when he was a shepherd was able to become more profitable with his time. However, God destined him to be King which had a high demand of his time later. It appears that those seasons of simplicity are used to prepare you for the times of great strain.

    More practical application for me is listening to Podcasts, Sermons, both while at work and in the commute. You are not always 100% engaged but its helpful to keep you thinking biblical. Try to track down other christians at work to have lunch with and talk about God. Also, you need to be deliberate with going out of your way to make time. For example, if you value morning study and you don't have time to study and read in the morning; that means you need to wake up earlier. #NoExcuses When pushed you will be surprised what you can do.

    Ultimately, I would look at this is an opportunity to apply what you have learned.
  5. hammondjones

    hammondjones Puritan Board Sophomore

    This is pretty much what I do (although, I couldn't listen to a sermon and focus on work, I often do podcasts, etc., on the way to and from work). I think taking breaks at work is underrated for productivity, getting coffee, going for a 10 min walk, something like that. I'll often stop by my friend's desk who is a strong believer, and ask him how his Lord's Day was, or he'll share a pray request with me, or we'll just talk about current events in light of the Gospel. Or I'll try to convince him that he shouldn't trace back his baptist history to the anabaptists. Or we'll just talk about Star Trek.
  6. Harley

    Harley Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thank you much everyone. I remember a story from Ichabod Spencer where a potential convert had actually killed the impressions of the Spirit by quitting his job so he could seek salvation. I'm reminded that in faithfulness in my work I may certainly expect the Spirit to work in me and be near me, and He will manifest Christ to me in the course of duty.
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  7. Kinghezy

    Kinghezy Puritan Board Freshman

    I have a job that also requires focus and concentration at times. I have taken the perspective that I do the best job I can. Yeah, it may be good for profitability, but more importantly it is what you are called to do. I think you could take a perspective that if you are listening to sermons and not able to do your job, it is sinful to listen to sermons at that point in time.

    Ephesians 6:5-7
    Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,
  8. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

  9. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    Harley, while at work find us loopholes! :2cents:
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