HIGHER THINKING BLOG
Our Work – Blessed by God By Andrea Leigh Capuyan
God’s Blessings on a Steward’s Good Work
Work at a fevered pitch in search of approval and good results is the temptation of even the steward leader. The rat race beckons. And we rationalize. We are responsible. We are accountable. It’s all on our shoulders. As stewards, we can place ourselves in a bind – neither wanting to bury the “talents” God gave us and struggling to produce as much as possible from the “talents” we invest. We are caught between the two – fearing God’s disappointment and longing for His words, “Well done.” Our work is reduced to results, performance, and success measures. Perhaps our orientation is wrong. What if we rest in the fact that work is an invitation not an obligation?
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
An Invitation to Work
Here in the lush abundance of paradise we were invited to work – to create. And our work was already blessed. Work is an outpouring of God’s favor. Our work does not entitle us to His blessing. And even now in dry land of exile, we do not gain more of His attention the harder we work. This unwarranted blessing reminds us of who He is – the God who is faithful even when we are faithless. Before time began, He is the God who scorned ALL shame even when we scorned Him. We work and live and steward under His blessing. Undeserved. Unearned. Fully assured.
I find great freedom that work is a product of God’s blessing. I imagine that God is offering me this infinite sandbox and saying, “Here. Go, play.” This invitation is full of imagination, creativity, experimentation. There are options and possibility. Are there boundaries? Yes. Limits? Yes. Do I often live in uncertainty? Yes. Are there mistakes and failures? Always. And yet, there is movement and freedom and beauty. I do not need to strive. Results no longer rule my decisions. My leadership does not conscript myself and others to rigid performance standards. I can freely cultivate the knowledge, skills and talents in others. I can hold everything in humility and with brutal honesty.
If my work is no longer about proving my worth or earning God’s favor, then I do not need to hide or to cover-up. I can work out in the open, welcoming examination because I do not doubt God approval or love. I become a truth-seeker and a truth-teller because I rest in His kindness. I no longer wring my hands wondering if the next grand idea or hot initiative, will prove to me that my leadership matters. I am not on the hunt for the perfect program or product which will grant my endeavors the success I am pursuing. Numbers are no longer the idol which cloud my thinking. Deceiving me — only NOW God is pleased once I hit the mark. My work is no longer defined by a proof text. He declared, the work of my hand is blessed. I already have His full attention.
Living in this blessing brings surrender. It can be hard to accept God’s boundless favor because we must live in the reality that we cannot cajole or control Him. Embracing His blessing requires us to set aside our agendas, re-frame our orientation – in our work, in all our life, and as we lead. It begins with a confessional life which fully receives and names everything that God entrusted to our care. It is daily surrendering and giving back to God all that is in our care for His plan. It is accepting that my life’s purpose is already bestowed under His blessing and by His invitation. He’s not sent me on a wild goose chase, searching for an answer. It is trusting that He produces the fruit and abundance. He makes things grow.
By His hand, we are shaped, molded, and made. By His invitation, we are blessed.
Now – go, play.
Andrea Leigh Capuyan, CCNL, CNAP, is the Executive Director of the Laurel Pregnancy Center in Laurel, Maryland. She is cares about leadership development and organizational culture within the small nonprofit ministry setting. She is passionate about encouraging fellow women in their roles as leaders. Defining our identity as a steward of God informs her perspective on everything – faith, leadership and spiritual transformation.
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.