By Michelle McKinney Hammond
For Christians, taking care of business means considering more than how much money you can make. The work of your hands should be an expression of your heartfelt passion coupled with a desire to meet the needs of others and fulfill the call of God on your life.
Whether you are a doctor, lawyer, homemaker, or maintenance technician, your purpose and profession is your tribute to God. In theatre, they say â€˜there are no small parts only small actors.\’ Likewise, in life there really are no menial tasks, only those who don\’t see the value and meaning associated with each area of work.
Close your eyes and imagine a world where garbage is never collected, offices aren\’t cleaned; graves are never tended or dug…should I go on? Every profession is not only honorable, but also vital to making life work for others. As a Christian, keep in mind that your business or profession is ultimately a toolâ€”not just for financial security but also for Kingdom businessâ€”which actualizes the first commission God gave to man (and woman).
Your profession produces material and spiritual fruit known as character (see Matt. 7:16 and Luke 12:15). Some fruit looks good until you squeeze it and find that it is spoiled, rotten or unfit for consumption. When life puts the squeeze on us, whatever is in us is sure to come to light in all of its glory. If your fruit is not good, it makes it harder to accomplish your purpose effectively.
What kind of fruit are you producing? Here are some guidelines to consider:
God\’s first charge to us (in the garden) was to â€œbe fruitfulâ€ (Gen. 1:28). Second on the list is to â€œmultiply.â€ Being fruitful is the prerequisite of multiplication. If you are producing good fruit people will want more of it. As a matter of fact they will want whatever you have that is enabling you to pro- duce that good fruit. This becomes fertile ground for planting seeds that eventually add to the kingdom of God as you share your faith and relationship with the One who made you who you are.
Third, is to â€œreplenishâ€ or fill the earth. One of the rules of life is that the majority rules. This is why it is important to be an influence and conduit for adding people to the kingdom of God so that light will over- take darkness in the world.
Fourth on the list is â€œsubduing evil.â€ One of the ways we do this is by not allowing our purpose or profession to be used for anything that goes against God\’s rules and principles. Evil literally un- ravels the very fiber of society and affects the world at large. Every evil action can cause a ripple effect that touches the lives of countless people.
Consider this: a man tries to board a plane with an explosive in his shoe. Now, every person that flies commercially must remove his or her shoes before boarding a plane. We are called to raise a standard that encourages light and life for not just ourselves, but the world.
Further, what you cannot accomplish in conversation and example can be accomplished in prayer and spiritual warfare. â€œFor we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realmsâ€ (Eph. 6:12, NLT). The greatest battles over evil are won through the power of intercession. As a result, we do not strike out at those who stand before us, but we look past them to the spiritual realm.
Finally, but certainly not least on our list is to â€œhave dominionâ€ or authority over every living thingâ€”both spiritual and natural. If we are to maintain order in God\’s creation, as well as His kingdom, through prayer, example and encouragement, we must have life; not allow life to have us. Jesus said He came so that we might have life more abundantly (John 10:10).
As we follow the design of the Master Architect and come to the full stature of who He has designed us to be, we walk with an attitude that takes hold of life and guides the rudder of it. We are not ruled by circumstances and unscheduled interruptions. We exercise authority over all things concerning us because we know our spiritual rights and we stand firm in them.
In the end, we gain the victory because we exercise our God-given dominion, spiritually and naturally. We become â€œchange agentsâ€â€”bringing peace where chaos once ruled. Why? Because the very spirit of God abides inside and is powerful and life changing.
So remember, first things first. Make sure your purpose and profession is grounded in God\’s word and fueled by the Holy Spirit in order to produce good fruit that blesses others and prospers you naturally and spiritually.