Worship God in the shop or kitchen

(Letters of John Newton)

May 2, 1771
My dear friend,
The more the Lord blesses you in earthly things—the more sensible you will be that true happiness is only to be found in Himself; for sin and vanity are closely connected with everything beneath the skies! In this view, I trust He will enable you to number your troubles among your mercies, as necessary to keep your soul from cleaving to the dust, and to quicken your prayers and desires heavenwards.

Our necessary relationships in this life, especially those which are most pleasing, are attended with many snares. May the Lord keep you sensible of the danger, that you may be watchful against the first appearances of spiritual decline, and be continually crying, "Hold me up—and then I shall be safe!"

I am, however, fully persuaded that a due attention to the concerns of our relative duties and callings in this world, can never be a hindrance to our walking with God. These earthly things require some of our thoughts—and much of our time; and if we can manage them in obedience to His will, and with a reference to His glory—they are then sanctified, and become holy actions. A believer, acting in a right spirit, may be truly said to worship God in the shop or kitchen, no less than when waiting on Him in prayer and Scripture meditation. A person called by God's providence to sweep the streets, if he does it to the Lord, performs as acceptable a service as another who should preach the Gospel to thousands!