The real reason that we work
On Sunday I was talking to a very good friend of mine and we were talking about the various things that the lord had been teaching each of us, and how those things had impacted our lives for the good. One of the things that we had spoken about was our general attitude towards tasks that we had to personally do.
Now, it was not long ago that I would mutter under my breath about having to “do this or that” and bemoan and begrudge the whole thing. All the while thinking to myself how unfair it was that I had to do it, and didn’t my family see the load that I was already carrying, and didn’t they understand how hard my life was, and on and on.
I know, I sound like a two year old, but much to my shame I thought that way, often going out of my way to leave things for others to do. I even stopped baking for the family because I did not like how the baked goods would disappear so quickly.
Ah yes, the selfishness of my heart!
Well, as you can imagine, I could see this particular fault in everyone else but myself, it would annoy me to no end when my kids would only do a half job of what I had asked them to do. I would watch them wait for the other person when it came time to do the dishes, just in case they ended up having to do more of the task than the other person.
I would try to discipline and teach them, when these things happened, but alas, it went nowhere; that is of course until the lord started showing me, what was dwelling deep down in my own heart.
Ah! That is all I have to say, it hurts to see that what you have been trying to correct in another person, you yourself are doing.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Yes I was being a hypocrite; I was delighting to see what was wrong with everyone around me but myself.
Thankfully God, in his great love and mercy, will not leave us in that state of heart, and he set about changing my heart. At first I did not recognize what he was doing, until later I realized that I had indeed had a change of heart, and this time my change of heart lined up with what the bible taught as a correct behavior and attitude to have in connection to work.
Slaves and Masters
“ Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.”
The bible teaches us, that we need to work, and serve others wholeheartedly as if whatever you are doing, you are doing for the Lord.
Now, you would think that I would have known this many years ago, I did, and I even taught it to others, but I did not always apply it to my own life. Father forgive me!
Thankfully, the lord, has been doing a new work on my heart and has been showing me, where my attitude has been wrong, and where I need to choose to serve instead of demand that I be served.
After I had spoken to my friend, I read a devotion out of the Daily Bread, written by Bill Crowder, and it was written on this exact topic. I knew then that the lord was highlighting this to me once again, and I needed to share it with you.
Bill Crowder wrote:
In the Late 1660s, Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to re-design St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. According to legend, one day he visited the construction site of this great edifice and was unrecognized by the workers. Wren walked about the site, asking several of the men what they were doing.
One worker replied, “I am cutting a piece of stone.” A second worker responded, “I am earning five shillings two pence a day.” A third, however, had a different perspective: “I am helping Christopher Wren build a magnificent cathedral to the glory of God.” What a contrast in the attitude and motivation of that worker!
If we do our work merely to earn a paycheck or satisfy a supervisor, we will fall short of the higher motivation – doing our best as evidence of our devotion to God.
It was after reading this that the lord confirmed to me the heart change had been taking place inside of me, I had gone from being selfish and self-absorbed in all of my tasks, to taking great joy and having great satisfaction completing tasks set before me, because I did them out of devotion to God.
I have found that now I have more peace about the tasks that I put my hand to, I even experience a new found joy, because I know that even if I am cleaning toilets or sweeping my kitchen for the tenth time that day, I do it all out of a devotion for God.
Let me tell you of the change that has taken place in my household, because of my change of attitude. My children have seen that I don’t begrudge helping and serving them, and they are in turn are learning to work with the same attitude as the lord has helped me to learn.
Please understand, that this attitude has not made me the servant of the household, my children still have tasks that they are required to do, but it has taught us all, that we can have a joy in both the mundane and the bigger tasks that God sets before us to do.
Remember, no matter who signs your paychecks, you are ultimately working for God!