There is great value in work. I have had times of little or no work and times when I have been overwhelmed with lots of work. I am here to tell you lots of work is better. I have discovered something else about work. It doesn’t have to be work I enjoy. I realize that not promoting the idea of “work I enjoy” is almost anti-American these days. I agree that doing work you enjoy is truly satisfying, but just working brings its own satisfaction.
God gave Moses some very important tips for living well on planet earth. One of the top ten was to work six days then take a day for non-work. Here is motivation to do a job, any job, well: …Don’t work only while being watched, in order to please men, but work wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men Colossians 3:22-23 (HCSB).
People were created by God for relationship with Him and for being creative forces in their own right. Work was never a curse from God nor was it a design flaw it is a blessing for us all.
Money has a value of its own. I know it is helpful for purchasing food and keeping a roof over our heads, but it also provides a measure of one’s own heart health. It is my focus on money that will tell me if my heart is seeking God, trusting Him, caring about His kingdom, concerned about others. The Apostle Paul provides thoughts concerning this in one of his letters to Timothy:
17 Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 1 Timothy 6:17-18 (NLT)
Who are the rich in this world? If you make $12,000.00 per year you are in the top 18% of the richest people in the world. Paul says to Timothy to teach the rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, but to use their money to do good. If my hand is curled around my cash and my drive is to achieve the accumulation of wealth I have a serious heart problem. I need to be like Paul says, “rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others.” In this way I keep my hand open and uncurled allowing God to fill it and use whatever is there for His purposes.
The book of Proverbs offers wisdom on the pursuit of riches. Check this out.
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. 5 In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle. Proverbs 23:4-5 (NLT)
Not long ago (pre-2008) people who had trusted in retirement accounts and investing in markets and even buying real estate were disappointed as the economic balloon burst. In the blink of an eye wealth can disappear. But there is a way to be more secure. Let’s go back to Proverbs.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NLT)
There is value in work and in money, but it comes from using them to honor the Lord. He will reward our efforts not just in the short run, but forever. And, for us, now we will find work and money wonderful extensions of God’s grace. Provided to shape us into His incredible design. Allowed to reveal how we are progressing along the way.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways! Romans 11:33 (HCSB)