You may be a single working woman like Lydia, a dealer in expensive fabrics (Acts 16:14-15).
You may be a working wife like Priscilla who made tents with her husband (Acts 18:2-3)
You may be running a home like Mary (Acts 12:12)
All these women were spiritually powerful women and all three were certainly in God’s will in their chosen field.
You do not have to be working full-time in a ministry to be spiritual.
You can be spiritual behind a desk, in front of the board pitching your sales, marketing or project plan, while delighting a customer or while motivating your staff or team.
God has plenty to say about work. As of now, I can identify a few from the book of Proverbs talking about the glory and benefits of hard work. Here’s a few:
Lazy men are soon poor; hard workers get rich. ~Proverbs 10:4~
Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed. ~Proverbs 12:24~
Lazy people want much but get little, while the diligent are prospering. ~Proverbs 13:4~
Those too lazy to plow in the right season
will have no food at the harvest.~Proverbs 20:4~
Don’t be so lazy that you say,
“If I go to work,
a lion will eat me!” ~Proverbs 22:13~
Here’s another that I think Solomon should have written down – “The industrious spider gets a large web.”
Hard work never hurt anybody.
It’s only a bad attitude towards work and the wrong perception of it that causes the gears to grind and the tensions to mount.
Does your job exhaust you?
- Have you re-arranged your life to make God first – living His presence with time for prayer, worship, reading His Word and asking Him about things in your life?
- Do you have a close and trusted friend that you keep yourself accountable to, get counsel from or a relationship where you can exchange your joys and grief, and burdens and blessings and speaks both love and truth in your life?
- Are you giving a part of yourself ministering to the needs of others – it can be as simple as spending time with a family or a friend over coffee, volunteering to help a colleague on her personal project, driving a neighbour to the hospital or babysitting a cousin’s third baby?
If you answered no to any one question above, maybe you spend so much time working with no purpose except to earn more money.
You are earning but you don’t make a living. Your job is just that – a job!
But if you say yes to all three questions and you are still exhausted, maybe – just maybe, you are in the wrong job. Or you may have to find more purpose in your job now other than its salary and benefits.
Work is God’s plan for you and me, so we must find the work that best suits our gifts.
You will probably shift from one type of work to another – this is good, this is something that you shouldn’t be guilty about. Circumstances may cause this, or maybe seasons, or something stirring inside you opening up new interests and gifts that do not necessarily equate work and money.
The source of your money is never your job. If it is and you lose your job, you might have a nervous breakdown or anxiety attacks.
The source of your money is God. He owns it all, and He has promised over and over to take care of the needs of every one of His children.
For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. ~Psalm 50:10~
Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? ~Matthew 6:26~
Since Adam and Eve from tending the garden of Eden, to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates creating and developing technologies, people have always been given important, meaningful things to do in life.
You have an important, meaningful thing to do in life through your work.
Do it with all your heart.
But get this straight – in the Christian life, it is not ‘seeing is believing’, it is ‘believing is seeing’.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.~Matthew 6:33~
When you work in obedience to God, saying yes to His will before you see how, He will make it right. He will make it up to you in a thousand secret, delightful ways.
Before you ask, what’s in it for me or how much do I get from it? Ask, “Lord, what do you think of this?” And listen to His response.
My friend, see the glory of productivity. May part of the way you represent the Triune God in this world be your reputation for hard work.
Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10)
Here’s what I suggest that you do:
In your journal, draw a circle and divide your work into categories such as house chores, job/career/business work (or anything you do to earn an income) or school, and church/community/volunteer work.
Give each the appropriate size of the pie based on the amount of time you spend in those activities. Then color each category by how you feel about it.
Green = looking forward to it and it’s important to you;
Orange = important but not to you, tolerable; and
Gray = dreading it and you resent having to do it.
So, what color do you think of when you think of your work? Tell a family member or a friend about it. Share how you feel about it now, what you want to do, and how will you do it?