Are you hard at work right now? Perhaps you are reading this while at work or on break from work. Ever since the fall of man, work has been a part of our lives – and there is nothing wrong with hard work. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” Work gives us the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s even, dare I say, fun at times. I used to cut grass as a side business. I took care of up to 30 lawns a summer. It was hard work, but I actually liked it. I guess what I really liked was pulling up to a lawn that was uncut, overgrown, where you could’t see the edge on the driveway and walkway, the pine needles were unkempt. Then, after less than an hour on most lawns, I would put the mower on the truck and look back at the yard…perfect! It was such a great feeling of accomplishment. I sometimes miss doing it.
So, work is not bad in itself. But, what is bad is when we make work our end rather than our means to an end. Work is bad when we make it our priority because of the things that we think or know it provides for us. When we weigh the new car that will provide better transportation for our family (i.e. safer, nicer, way more reliable), but at the expense of the time away from the family that it will require to pay for it we have a decision to make. Work is not good when it begins to drive us instead of us driving it.
Do you ever find yourself working from sunup to sundown and a pattern forms and you begin neglecting other priorities like your family, your relationships, your time with the Lord? Work can definitely be bad when it gets in the way of the things that really matter in life.
I want to share a verse that my wife read to our family while on vacation this week. It was so encouraging and life-giving when it comes to our perspective on or philosophy of work. It’s Psalm 127:2, which says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep!” (emphasis mine)
Wow, isn’t that just like God…to love and care for His children. It’s called grace and it has nothing to do with how good you are, but everything to do with how good God is!!
So, are you rising up early and going to bed late to eat the bread of painful labor? You know, you can provide everything you want to for you and your family. You are free to do that in America and God also gives you the freedom to aspire to that…but if that is the end, then it is done in vain…it is eating the bread of painful labors. Why not, as Matthew 6:33 says, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” and let Him add “all things” to you…even while you are peacefully sleeping!
I’d love to hear your thoughts or comments…join the conversation. Have a great week!