by Dr. Richard Bouch

What if you exercised at gym with imitation weights? Some workout that would be. You’d never get stronger. In spiritual and material affairs, in work and daily tasks, on duty and off, we deal with realities of existence for which inner strength is needed. Look, for example, at the apostle Paul, who was no pushover.

Paul said that his inner strength was rooted in his experience of Christ as faithful, secure, and unchanging. Other sources of confidence had been tried, and found inadequate. Paul’s great learning, and even his privileged social position, had not been enough to carry him through the adversities of his Christian life. Therefore it is striking that from a prison cell, he instructed:“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2: 12b-13).

In other words, allow God to have His way with our lives, and as He uses them to accomplish His purposes, let’s humbly do our work while giving the credit to God. And think about what God is doing – reflect on it, ask Him to help you understand it, for this will help you participate in what He’s doing.

This is strong truth. Paul is describing something spiritually concrete. Life’s lessons and experiences are essential parts of “working out our salvation.” A while ago, our family had to deal with several adversities. We are grateful to the Lord that he made a way through all of them. In the process, we needed him to be secure and unchanging, dependable and purposeful. He was. As we “worked out our salvation” in those difficulties, our confidence in Paul’s advice grew. In Christ is the real strength to go on, for He is “far above all rule and authority and power” (Ephesians 1: 21).

So, each day at work, remind yourself that you are “working out” for the Lord – and if the workout seems tough, ask the Lord to use it to build godly inner strength in you, for “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2: 13).


Lord, I don't want days or weeks to slip by without going forward with You in some way. I'd like work to be a place where the salvation You've so graciously given me fuels Christ-honoring strength and growth. Thank You!  Amen. 


  1. Why is your work-life part of "working out your salvation?"
  2. How can your work help to develop your Christian character? What does Christian character mean to you?
  3. What "imitation weights" have you been using at work? In other words, what have you been trying to draw strength from other than Christ?

This WorkLife Coaching Session was written by Dr. Richard Bouch.   Used by permission.   All rights reserved.   Content edited and distributed by for non-profit educational purposes. 

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