20 Quotes from Bryan Chapell on Working with Grace – Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra

As TGC’s faith-and-work editor, I’ve read a lot of books on work. The latest from Bryan Chapell, Grace at Work: Redeeming the Grind and the Glory of Your Job, is one of the best. I highlighted my way through the whole thing—here are 20 of my favorite quotes.

The new contract without hidden clauses, the lunchtime conversation kept clean, the cleanup job that cuts no corners, the expense report that is true, the hate speech not entered, the rage not expressed, the architecture kept beautiful, the benefits plan made fair, the government policy that is just, the discipline procedure that is merciful—all bring glory to the one who shows his character and care through his people. (14)

God is mowing down the weeds of the world with our work. (28)

As racial inequities persist, as economic pressures increase, as layoffs occur, many never get jobs they desire, and many others have to leave jobs they love. Harsh realities put before us this basic question: Can I do what God wants if I can’t do what I want? And God is telling us in Colossians 3:22, “Yes, even if you cannot do what you want, you can still do what I want.” (48)

Serving God heartily is not based upon how many toys we can get or how easy our lives can be. Instead, we do what he requires because of our deep-down, soul-level love for him. (52)

Integrity means working such that the nature of our work is in harmony with the nature of our God. (60)

On the one hand, the church should not be burdened with providing for those who have other means of support. On the other hand, the church has a duty to show mercy to persons in need in order to reflect the gospel. Our decisions should not be based on others’ deserving (grace only for the deserving is not grace at all), but on the difference our expression of mercy can make for demonstrating, and helping others to embrace, the gospel. (82)

If we really believe that the God who created the universe cares for us and is working in our lives, then that removes the fear that makes us hoard our money and turn away everyone who might need the generosity that God asks of us. (89)

He gives us just the right balance between poverty and riches. If you knew for sure that God was providing—to the penny—what you needed to glorify him, you would be content. (91)

If faithfulness to God is not our measure of success, then the world’s expectations will become our standard. (102)

True humility is never forced on us by either people or circumstances. It is a matter of choice. (110)

What would it mean to put aside the bonus that we deserve so that someone else could keep their job? Or to give up a promotion requiring a move so that our family could be held together? Or to submit to a decision requiring personal sacrifice without sulking? (114–15)

The tasks we do are made glorious not primarily because of the glory in them but because of God’s purpose for us. (125)

It may seem foolish to expect believers in every profession to engage in “rigorous theological thinking,” but such reflection is actually the path of relief and rescue from the daily grind that can seem without meaning or significance. (138)

While deep hurt may make us appropriately wise and wary about human relationships, if we cannot love and trust again, then we cannot rediscover joy or reflect Jesus. (162)

We should be realistic enough about humanity’s flaws to refuse to base our happiness on others’ faithfulness. (163)

Biblical forgiveness seeks what is best for the eternity of the wrongdoer and the flourishing of our community. (168)

To forgive is to be for grace. (168)

Since the Lord is responsible for our livelihood and our family’s welfare, we have no more important task than uniting our hearts to him. (194)

When you really do turn your concerns over to the one who creates and controls all things—with trust in his love for you—there is a wonderful result in your life: you can sleep. (195)

God can do more good with our lives in six days than we can do in seven days of nonstop labor. (200)

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