When asked what was the greatest commandment, Jesus had something like 613 commands in his day that religious leaders like the Pharisees sought to adhere to. Jesus’ answer was, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
When we think of these verses, particularly the command to love your neighbour, so often we think of how do we treat our family, our friends, or even those who we run into at the shops, the sporting club or some other social group. Have you ever considered how this relates to work?
Reflecting on work, Martin Luther wrote “When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to give us this day our daily bread. And He does not give us our daily bread. He does it by means of the farmer who planted and harvested the grain, the baker who made the flour into bread, the person who prepared our meal.” Have you considered that our work can be a choice to join with God in his activity and a way of expressing His care, concern and love to others?
Perhaps there is a another way of fulfilling this command as well? Loving your colleagues. Loving those you work with. At times this is paid employment, but at other times it can be those you serve with in volunteer or unpaid work. This can be doing your job well so that someone else doesn’t have to cover for you. It can be listening to someone who is going through a difficult time. It could be running an errand for someone when they are reaching their limit. It can be buying someone a coffee or coke. There are any number of ways to love your neighbour at work.
When Jesus identified the greatest commandment, maybe it was meant to involve more than just our recreational or spare time? Maybe it was meant to include our whole life? Even work. How might you love your neighbour as yourself this week?