A Reason to Work

Boring JobLast year I blogged a series on the nature of work.

My goal in that series was to challenge people to adopt a new paradigm of work.

I wrote about how work is a holy endeavor and that God is and has always been a worker.

I wrote about how the Fall of Man changed work, how the Law of God commanded work and how that law was a reflection of its Author.

My goal was to deal with the subject of work on a fundamental theological level. What I didn’t address were the practical reasons why we should want to work.

If I were to ask most people, even most Christians, why they should work, they would say things like, “to make money,” “to provide for my family,” or “to pay my bills.” All those are valid reasons to work, but what struck me yesterday while reading The Book of Acts was how the reason the Apostle Paul gave for working contrasted so sharply with all these other reasons.

Paul was on his way back to Jerusalem, and he knew he would never see the Ephesians again. So he called the leaders of the Ephesian church to meet with him as he was passing through to give them some final instructions and say his goodbyes. In the midst of that conversation Paul said the following:

“I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own need and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

(Acts 20:33-35) (emphasis added). Paul set an example for the Ephesians that Christians should work hard so they can give to others.

If you find no other meaning in your work right now, if your job is a dead end off-career detour, if you are having trouble seeing the value in work for work’s sake, find meaning in this: Your job provides money for you to give to help others. GS

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