Ok, so I have a question for you…ready? When you hear the word “work” what words pop into your head? Maybe it’s employment, a way to earn money, or your job, or your occupation. Perhaps it’s effort, exertion, production, or performance. It could be stress, drudgery, toil, difficult, or just plain bad. Possibly it’s, “I would like some work because I have been out of work for a while”.
Now for most people when you hear the word ‘work’ you don’t think of joy, or fun, or I can’t wait to do some work, (yes, some do and that’s great but read on because there is a point to all of this). For the most part we see work as a necessary evil we have to put up with until we come into some money so we can stop work…like work is a bad thing to run away from or put up with.
Some even spiritualize this living for the break, living for the weekend by talking about the Biblical Sabbath God set up for us…
Exodus 20:9-11 9Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
They say, ‘see God calls this rest holy and therefore it’s better and more important than the other days.’ Yes true, taking a Sabbath is important and there is great value and need to have a day where we cease from our labors and delight in God and His blessings. However, this command, (and by the way this is part of the 10 Commandments) has two parts to it. One is to keep a Sabbath and the other is found in…
Exodus 20:9-11 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
That working should be part of life as well as taking a break. We were made to be productive, useful and helpful, and to work hard.
Colossians 3:23 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,...
And in this work, be it an occupation, a job, volunteer work, stay-at-home work, helping out your kids work, serving at your church, whatever efforts we give out we are to look at them as opportunities God has given us…and find joy in that. I once asked a guy who had the job of cleaning out those port-a-potties why he was doing his job with so much joy? Their slogan was, “Your number two is our number one business.”…sorry had to throw that in. Anyway, he looked at me right after he cleaned out one of messiest port-a-potties I have seen and with a smile he expressed the joy of having a job, the joy of earning a living, the pride of doing what most people would never do. And though the hazards are real, he can pray, memorize scripture and sing and dream and not be stuck in some cubical somewhere. He was genuinely thankful the Lord gave him this job. He had found joy at work. Could that be said of you?
It seems that work has gotten a bad wrap and seen as that necessary inconvenience. Yet, God has blessed us with the ability to work and contribute and participate, and play a roll and make a difference if we so choose. I wonder what this next work week would be like if we went into it with Joy, even in tough situations.
I’m praying you will experience joy at work this next week.
Grace, Peace and Joy,