Posts Tagged ‘work’

You get up at least five days a week, go to work, work at a job that you are so ready to leave by 5pm—or 55years old, but you can’t retire yet. So you work for ten more years, so you can retire and not work.

Then just as you are ready to retire from work and enjoy life, the stock market dives, your grown children come home—with their kids–, or someone gets seriously ill—and you have to keep working. Aren’t you asking yourself: now why are we celebrating Labor Day?

I think we—also Christians–have skewed the whole concept of work in the way we in the industrialized world live today! Those misconceptions might look something like this:

  • Work is the result of the curse placed on Adam for sin, ergo, work is the result of sin.
  • Working is so that I can afford to live in a way that brings me happiness.
  • Working is for me and what I want.
  • Working is so that someday I don’t have to work.

Try these brief ideas and see if they don’t help you think differently about working!

  1. Working is what God does, so when we are working, we are in sync with the image of God within us.  From Day One of creation in Genesis until the Judgment Day, God is working. Jesus talked about coming to do the work of his Father.  God’s work at creation was the first day of his working for the salvation of the world as well.  Our work, if woven into the fabric of His, would suddenly take on a completely different, an eschatological perspective.
  2. If affecting the world around us as farmers, bank tellers, janitors or computer technicians in a way that brings glory to God is what the nature of God in us is, if working to finish the work of the Father is what we were created to do, can there be any doubt that the deep, deep joy of being in harmony with God will provide the happiness that we so long for?  Working is the complete fulfillment of God’s plan for your life! Trying to escape it is running to Ninevah!
  3. Even your daily job is not about you! If we can get the right answer to go in the following blank, I think we will be a lot happier:  “I am working today in order to ______________________. “ If the blank is about you, you will not find satisfaction. If your answer is about others, you will have the joy that passes understanding!  (Acts 20:35; Ephesians 4:28)
  4. This last misconception is the trickiest because it is almost true. The Sabbath rest that is built into our basic desires by the image of God within us is not something bad; quite the contrary. What derails us is our human attempt to equate our Sabbath rest with retirement, thinking that is when life begins.  In fact, it was always God’s plan to give us rest from our working. Our ever-resent error is trying to create our own resort in this world and our own Sabbath on the golf course or the cruise ship.

I do believe that our own sin has caused working in this world to be harder than God intended in the Garden of Eden, but the more we allow God to forgive us of the self-centeredness of the Garden and the continual attempting to create our own Gardens (thus our own happiness), the more joy we will find in the work with which we are blessed.

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