January 28, 2011 3 min to read
Work (Pt 2): Don’t Stop; Don’t Fret; Don’t Seek a Better Life
Category : Blogs (Faith), Life-Ecstatic (Faith)
In Part One of this series we covered that God is the one who created WORK, and he called it good. One of the principle points around this I mentioned was:
If we were created to work, we must work, and in doing so we do one of the things we were made to do – regardless of what we are doing. So menial jobs carry a greater meaning. Also, the point of life is not to try and do whatever we can to stop working. We must work, despite our bank balance.
We tend to either be workaholics or idle busybodies. And both of them lead to anxiety while at the same time tend to become our habit because of anxiety.
We’re anxious about what people will think of our work, whether we’ll be a success or not, if people will call us a failure, whether our family will be proud, whether we are working hard enough to receive a good reward – and that reward is usually financial and often in an effort to stop working. If we could just crack this next big deal we may have enough money to quit this job, maybe retire, or maybe start our ‘dream job’, only to find years down the line that our dream job has also become a bit of a pain.
Psalm 127: 1 – 2
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil, for he gives to his beloved in his sleep.”
The point of work is not to stop working. We must work regardless of our bank account. Sure, it’s nice to do something you really love, but if idleness is our goal then even what we love will become a pain to us. We must see work from God’s perspective – he created it, it’s a good thing and it can be a joy in our lives, regardless of what we’re doing. In this every kind of job carries a greater and more glorious meaning. We’re doing exactly what we were created to do – we’re working.
At the same time, we’re not called or created to fret and be anxious about our work. God is the one who prospers it, who makes something out of it. Unless He does, all of our labour – our rising up early, our staying up late – is in absolute vain. He needs to prosper it and there is no way we can make him prosper it. Hard work often pays off, but not always, and God doesn’t guarantee that He’ll reward hard work or even honest living. He guarantees that He’ll take care of you and I, and He guarantees that we’ll have joy in the hard times, but He does not guarantee financial prosperity – honest work is more likely to lead to prosperity in the long run than dishonest work, but even God does not guarantee that honest work will always lead to prosperity.
This may be hard to swallow, especially in our culture and even in Christian circles. We don’t want a poverty mindset, we say, and I’m not advocating one. But I’m simply saying that God has bigger things in mind.
The difference is in what it is we want. We either want the better life or we want the better hope. We’re either chasing after the riches of this world or we’re chasing after the Treasure of All – one who is worth more than all the riches of this world can offer – Jesus Christ. This God wants to give us, and if a tight pocket leads us to this Greater Treasure, well God is as good as He says He is then.
God sent manna from heaven to the Israelites. He took care of their needs. Manna day in and day out. Manna, manna, manna, and they got bored of it. So would you and I. See, we link the abundance of life God promises us to a life where there is always choice, always diversity, to keep us entertained and feeling happy. Lord, not manna today, but steak; Lord, not manna today, but apples. None of these are bad in themselves, but we want God to keep us entertained and keep the better life coming or we say He isn’t good. Meanwhile, he wants to lead us to a Better Treasure – the Greatest Treasure. We’ll expound on this in the next post.