I'd Rather Be Working

This continues a series on Proverbs & Money.

Proverbs 12:11

Whoever works his land
will have plenty of bread,
but he who follows worthless pursuits
lacks sense.

“I’d rather be fishing”, or so reads the bumper sticker on the half-ton hemi with a 12 inch lift kit. While not all of us would claim fishing as our first alternative, there is certainly no less than a handful of “rather be doing’s” when it comes to work.

C.J. Mahaney, in his blog discussion (Sovereign Grace Blog) on work, goals, and effective scheduling says this: “I fear too many Christians are so distracted by thoughts of the future that they cannot discern with clarity how God has called them to serve in their present vocations. Though they show up for work each day, they don’t work with passion and joy each day.”

Briefly, and not exhaustively, I think there are three anecdotes to this tendency we have to be distracted by the worthless chasing of dreams instead of the working of our land:

1) Daily, remind yourself that Scripture teaches us that work itself is an act of faith in God. God’s means of answering our prayer of faith to ‘give us our daily bread’, is to command us to obey in faith by working our land. Is God sovereign to provide? Yes. Is man responsible to work? Yes. Scripture has no problem saying both, neither should we.

2) Daily, remind yourself that Scripture teaches us that work itself is a ministry of service to others. Your employment is as sacred a calling as singing, preaching, evangelizing, parenting, leading. Do you remember the Apostle Paul? If anyone had the right to forego work, it was him. Yet (this is astounding to me), Paul claimed to have worked hard with his own hands. Why? To get rich? To kowtow to the man? NO!!!!! Paul worked because Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive’. In the context of Acts 20, Paul said that in everything he did, he showed us that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak. Paul’s work was an act of living out the second greatest commandment: to love your neighbor as yourself.

3) Daily, remind yourself that Scripture teaches us that your current work itself is your vocation and is in the center of God’s will. In other words, quit day-dreaming about worthless pursuits and understand the implications on your life of where God has placed you right now. It may be as a no frills stay-at-home mom with crazy toddlers, or a hamburger flipper, or a CEO of a Fortune 500. Regardless, and in any case, you didn’t get there without God putting you there. Again, C.J. Mahaney provides great insight when he says that “it may be that our vocation is not clear because we have not started with these two questions: Where has God placed me? And, where am I positioned to serve others? Take a moment to look down at your feet. Go ahead, look. For most of us, our feet are currently resting within the geographic circle of God’s calling on our lives. In the future God may call you outside that circle. But that is for another time.” Trust and obey in the meantime.

All posts in this "Proverbs and Money" series were submitted by a friend of Aaron's who wishes to remain anonymous.

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