Work's Primary Temptation by Mark Greene

Christian Worker

Apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

How very hard it is to take those words seriously. After all, at first glance it does not seem true that without Christ we "can do nothing".Don't lots of people do lots of good things without Christ? An atheist can be kind, an atheist can pay suppliers on time, an atheist can tell their boss the truth, an atheist can visit the sick, an atheist can befriend a lonely colleague, an atheist can do quality work. Isn't that something? Well, it certainly is not to be despised, but it seems to me that it is not fruit in the sense that John's Gospel means fruit.

Jesus is interested in fruit that shows that we are His disciples and in fruit that brings His father glory.So some of the things a disciple of Christ may do may be exactly the same as the things a non-believer does but the motivation is entirely different -- our desire is for God to be glorified.We cannot bear fruit that reflects Christ unless we are connected to Christ. This is vital. The whole tendency of human nature is to independence, to believe that we know better than God, that we can do it without him.

The No. 1 temptation for many people is what? Sex? Money? Power? For many people temptation No. 1 is self-reliance, to live life without reference to God.When we're in trouble, when sales are down, when we can't see a way to get it all done in time, we may run to God. But what happens when the task looks well within the scope of our competence? The test of our dependency on Christ is not when we know we can't, but when we think we can.Think for a moment about the things you have to do at work today. Certainly, you could handle them on your own, but imagine what might happen if you brought Christ into what you can do. Ask him now.


Lord God, there are indeed work tasks that I can handle on my own. But as You are Lord of All, won't You please show me what they can look like when You are in the middle of them? Thank You. Amen.


  1. What percentage of your present work tasks do you feel you can do without dependency on Christ?
  2. What are some examples of tasks that you could handle on your own that you can bring Christ into in order to see Him work?
  3. Are there areas of "self-reliance" in your life where you tend to handle things on your own? Ask God to help you envision those areas with Him in the middle of them.

This WorkLife SwitchTOOL was written by Mark Greene of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity.  Used by permission. All rights reserved. Content edited and distributed by for non-profit educational purposes.