NOTE: This is a stub. It’s a raw outpouring of what came to me in a moment. There were points that were deeply helpful to me and I felt compelled to share it at this time, so I’m posting it before it is finished and will fill it out as more about “The Ministry Of Work” comes to me.
Ugh, another work day.
I found myself in a place where I was completely disenchanted with my work. I didn’t have any motivation. I didn’t want to do anything. I simply didn’t have the energy.
I felt bad for feeling bad. Am I being lazy? Am I depressed? Am I burned out?
This feels familiar. I’ve been here before. Experience teaches me to execute James 1:5.
So, I share my struggle with a fellow believer. I seek wise counsel. I pray.
My petition is singular, “I’m completely unmotivated. I don’t want to do anything. I’m not sure if I’m being lazy or if I’m depressed. What am I supposed to do?”
Then, I rest, not just rest from my tasks but I rest in the Lord, waiting, listening for His guidance.
The answer comes to me in that quiet place.
“Not what [you should do], who.”
Whatever matter we’re seeking the will of God for, we can know with certainty that the Father wants us to be like Him, to have His heart.
Everything good is in Him and His perspective on everything is perfect, so who is our Father and what is His heart as it relates to to work?
God is a giver.
God gives abundantly.
God gives so there is more than enough for everyone.
God in His wisdom creates means and mechanisms for the provision of all living things.
The means are His creation –natural resources and the mechanisms are the systems He’s ordained for the extraction and conversion of natural resources into provision for the care of His creatures.
And, one such mechanism God has given us to care for His creation and provide His abundance is work.
Lack, insufficiency, hunger and poverty are all a result of man’s corruption, exploitation and mismanagement of God’s creation.
When we fail to work for the benefit of others we steal, we rob the world of God’s loving provision through us.
“Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” -Ephesians 4:28
Lies block love.
Show me suffering of a man’s soul and I’ll show you a lie.
In the light of the truth of who God is and who I should emulate, I can see the lies that I allowed to creep into my heart and cause my dis-ease:
1. Work is just about getting rather than giving. (Salaries, titles, status)
2. We get our fulfillment or value from our work.
3. If I can’t do what I want to do, I’m not doing anything.
Work is more than just a means of feeding ourselves, it is also a means for expressing Christ (the heart of the Father), it’s an opportunity to minister His character to others, it’s a means of communicating who He is.
I don’t typically enjoy physical labor but there’s a work I do with delight –washing my wife’s car. I do the work with diligence, excellence and attention to detail. I love conveying the truth of God that she’s cared for and it gives me pleasure to think of her constantly riding around in a tangible reminder.
We should also look for the ways others are seeking to convey His person through their work and be co-laborers with them, especially when we’re unclear about or do not yet have any of our own.
We should be driven to make ourselves useful and be productive as God is productive.
“But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.'” -John 5:17
Sometimes, lethargy is due to causes less sinister than lies and disobedience, sometimes it’s due to being overwhelmed with complexity and decision fatigue, not quite knowing which thing to do or choosing which task would be the most profitable. But, what we know for sure is that some labor, any labor is more profitable than none. So choose something and get moving because it’s in the process of walking in faith that God provides for the next step.
Though I’ve hinted to it, I would be remiss in not emphasizing that a part of who the Father is and what His heart is as it relates to work is rest.
When we fail to properly rest, we fail to properly express who God is.
We should either be working or resting in preparation for work (which includes enjoying the fruit of our work). When we do it properly, we glorify God, we are revealed as sons of God and become vessels God uses to pour out His abundant and manifold grace in the world.
This newfound perspective of work not just as a task (what) but as a means to express God’s character (who), to be a giver as He is a giver and to be His vessel for His provision and care of His creation deeply encourages and revitalizes me. It places a high and challenging calling on all that we do.
“whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” -Colossians 3:23
Posted by Paul Luckett.
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