On the Job for God

(1 Thessalonians 4:3–12)

Attitudes about work generally run between two extremes. One extreme is the workaholic, with cell phone in one hand, BlackBerry in the other, and a computer open on their lap.  The other extreme is the person who views a job only as a necessary evil, a means to a paycheck. Leisure is the name of the game. This person exists for the weekends. Neither extreme is Biblical.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians concerning their attitude about work and the influence it had on their community. He told them to make it their ambition to lead a quiet life and to work with their hands “so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody” (1 Thessalonians 4:12).

Some of the Thessalonian believers were hard workers, but others had become idle, and, with nothing to do, they had become busybodies. Paul told them in his second letter, “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10). . . .

The apostle Paul told Timothy, ”Anyone who does not provide for their relatives . . . has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). But work goes beyond merely providing for our families, as important as that is. Our occupations are not just about earning a living; they are about how we live.

Whatever our job is, it is a vocation for the glory of God: A garbage collector helps make creation more beautiful for the glory of God. A mason or roofer builds for the glory of God. A teacher molds the minds of others for the glory of God. Our jobs, and our attitudes toward them, show others how we love God and strive to serve him in all we do.

The creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2 show us that God called the first couple to exercise dominion over the earth in general and to work the Garden of Eden in particular. We are also called to work, and whether we have jobs outside the home or inside the home, work is good because it’s from God. One of the best things we can do for each other in marriage is to hold our spouse’s work in high esteem. We are to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24), to bring out the best in each other, to build each other’s self-respect and sense of worth. We are to help each other model Christlike behavior, which includes earning a living. Our Savior himself labored as a carpenter before beginning his ministry as a teacher.

—Nancy Kennedy

Taken from NIV Couples’ Devotional Bible: B iblegateway.com

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bueller
    Jun 03, 2015 @ 00:19:15

    It’s always interesting when speaking of marriage how each partner should “spur one another on toward love and good deeds”, to bring out the best in each other, to build each other’s self-respect and sense of worth. To build each others self-esteem as well. We see too many marriages fall by the wayside because they are self-centered in making sure they are successful in what they do and not what each partner does. It takes strength, perseverance, and a total trust in each other to have a marriage that does not last a short time and then it’s on to the next person. Each day is another day when it is better to love one another and in doing so love others. We have become a civilization that thinks only of the now instead of planning for eternity.

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  2. Joyce/EM
    Jun 03, 2015 @ 18:39:25

    amen

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