One of my favorite Bible passages that applies to work is Nehemiah 1–2. King Artaxerxes’ employee Nehemiah had been such an exemplary worker that the king wanted to honor him by helping him when he was sad that Jerusalem was still in ruins. He asked Nehemiah, “Why is your face sad? . . . What do you request?” (2:2,4). He wasn’t just any worker for the king, he was the cupbearer, the man who tasted the king’s drink to protect him from being poisoned. In order to have earned such a position, he apparently worked hard and honored God in everything he did. And the king granted his requests.

God cares about the way we work. Colossians 3:23 tells us, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” We can follow Nehemiah’s example in these ways: Be such a competent and trusted worker that God is honored (Neh. 1:11–2:6). Care passionately about others and what’s important to them. Take action, occasionally even risky action, to honor what’s important to God and to fellow believers (2:3-6).

When we honor God in work, our employers may notice. But even if they don’t, our heart’s desire and purpose should be to honor the One we really serve—the Lord our God (Col. 3:17,23).