Aug. 11 - Diligent Producer
Work gets a pretty bad rap. The Beatles say, “It’s been a hard day’s night and I’ve been working like a dog.” Dolly Parton describes working 9 to 5 as, “barely getting by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’.” And Huey Lewis’s view of Workin’ for a Livin’ doesn’t lift anyone’s spirits at all: “Some days won't end ever and some days pass on by. I'll be working here forever, at least until I die.”
On Sunday Greg pointed out that there are three main views of work in popular culture:
Work is a necessary evil to buy things. I want a bigger house and a nicer car, so I need to make more money.
There’s my work life and then there’s my real life. I didn’t ask to be surrounded by these particular people. I’m just going to run out the clock and then get back to the people I choose to be with.
I find my worth and my identity in my work. I don’t know who I am outside of work and if I lost my job, I would be devastated.
These ideas are common but they aren’t biblical. God calls us to be diligent producers. He intends for us to work with diligence and purpose. Our response should be contentment and gratitude for the work we have been given. Is there proof that we were created for work and that it’s a blessing to us? Yep! Even before the fall we see that Adam’s job was to tend to the garden:
Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Our work should be characterized by the following principles:
1. Be diligent; serve God.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord
2. Provide for ourselves and those dependent on us.
1 Timothy 5:8 Those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers
3. Be grateful; remember from whom income really comes.
Deuteronomy 8:18 Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth
4. Enjoy your work; be content in it.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-19 It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life —this is indeed a gift from God
5. Earn to your potential; share the excess.
Ephesians 4:28 If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good, hard work, and then give generously to others in need
Not everyone can have a fulfilling job. You may want to feed orphans or save the rainforest, so you feel like you’re not serving God because you’re just answering phones or packing boxes. But look around you! That person in the next cubicle may be searching for answers and you have been placed there to lead them to Christ. Maybe one of your customers hasn’t seen kindness and compassionate in weeks and you’re in just the right place to provide it. Never underestimate God’s ability to use you right where you are!
Behind every employee and co-worker stands the Lord Jesus. He sees everything we do, He appreciates it and He will reward us, regardless of the type of work we do. Check your heart. Do you need to change your mindset and attitude towards your work? Remember you’re not working for man. You’re working for the Lord!