Tag Archives: work

Ecclesiastes 2 – Futility of Work

I came to hate all my hard work here on earth, for I must leave to others everything I have earned. And who can tell whether my successors will be wise or foolish? Yet they will control everything I have gained by my skill and hard work under the sun. How meaningless! So I gave up in despair, questioning the value of all my hard work in this world. – Ecclesiastes 2:18‭-‬20 NLT

The Teacher has sought solace in work. Now, let’s be clear about this, work is a good thing. Work is a holy thing because God did it. This book is not telling you that work is bad because it’s not. What is bad is finding your life’s purpose only in work.

The Teacher has worked hard. He’s trying to create meaning and purpose in life from work alone, and now that he’s had his work accomplishments, he’s reflecting on how meaningless they are. After all his hard work, one day, he will die. After he’s dead, someone else will take over what he’s left behind. And the same is true for us.

One day, we will die. Perhaps we’ll leave a company or organization behind. Maybe, like me, you’ll leave a classroom behind. And we don’t know if our successors will be wise enough to manage the work or foolish enough to banish working and responsibility. When work is your only purpose, that is a scary thought. When you work out of your purpose, that is a freeing thought.

If your only purpose is to work, then there is nothing to leave behind and certainly nothing you can take with you. But if you find purpose in your work, you can begin to leave a legacy behind.

Why was work meaningless? Because work by itself can’t give you God’s eternal purpose for you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Encouragement, God, Mistakes, Sin, Wrong

Right or Righteous?

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. – Proverbs 21:21 NLT

I’ll share this, God has been working on me when it comes to righteousness. I’ll keep this post short because I will discuss the topic in greater detail in a podcast.

He’s challenging me to understand the difference between right and righteousness. When I say right, I’m referring to the desire to always be right. Not the inherent rightness of righteousness.

It’s no coincidence that the verse mentions the pursuit of righteousness and unfailing love together. Perfect love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5), so righteousness can’t simply be about being right, it has to be more than that, deeper than that. See, true, godly righteousness pairs with unfailing love.

Jesus is the perfect example, right? Jesus is righteousness. Jesus is also unfailing love and its perfect example. Jesus, of course, was always right, but His pursuit was one of righteousness and unfailing love.

If you’re working to pursue the two, righteousness and unfailing love, you’ll find life, righteousness, and honor. In Jesus is fullness of life, righteousness, and honor. When you work like Jesus worked and pursue what Jesus pursued, you’ll be able to receive what Jesus has to offer.

So, how has God been working with me in understanding the difference between right and righteousness? Well, that’s a podcast chat, and I’ll just say it’s a humbling lesson.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Mistakes, podcast, Relationships, Wrong

The Painful Process – Podcast Episode

Processes are painful, aren’t they? Think about it. Healing is painful. Growth is painful. But the process is the glory, and what comes from it can be glorious. Listen as I dive into this topic today, The Painful Process.


Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, podcast, Thanksgiving

Advice and Instruction

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – Proverbs 19:20

This verse stood out to me this morning. It made me ask myself, why don’t we seek advice and instruction? A few reasons came to mind:

1) It’s humbling. To seek advice requires you to admit you don’t know everything. And even though we all know that’s true, we still don’t really like to admit it.
2) It requires effort. It’s a form of learning, and to be a lifelong learner means you’ll actually have to put forth the effort and work to continue to learn.
3) Comfort zones are comfortable. It’s more comfortable not to seek growth than it is to seek growth. Advice and instruction are about growing.

The good news is that there’s still hope for us. Because now that we’ve recognized why we don’t seek advice, hopefully we have the wisdom to know we should. Next, we’ll talk about ways we can receive good advice and instruction.

Leave a comment

Filed under books, Christianity, Encouragement, God, Thanksgiving, writing, Wrong

Clean Stables Don’t Bring Bacon

Why do we want work to be easy? I know I’ve wished that, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of it being work? I’ve heard people who are unfulfilled in their work say a few things:
1) I’m not passionate about it.
2) It’s overwhelming and stressful.
3) I’m bored.

Of course there’s been more, but let’s focus on the first two briefly and then the last one.

If you’re passionate about something, that means you’re willing to put in work. I believe passion creates a desire for growth, which requires work. Secondly, if something is overwhelming and stressful, then it sounds like it may be an improper balance of work, which may not be your fault.

Lastly, if people are bored, it’s usually the tediousness or repetitiveness of their work that causes it. While repetition in some cases is good, in others it can stunt growth and creativity. Some people are bored because they don’t do anything at work, and that’s not good for growth.

Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.- Proverbs 14:4 NLT

So yes, a clean stable may look nice, but it doesn’t pay well (unless your job is to clean stables). A clean stable likely means you don’t have any animals or work. Oxen will make a mess, but that’s the cost for work and a bountiful harvest that can provide for your family. Forgive my phrasing, but in other words, a clean stable won’t put bacon on the table.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, Relationships

Pursue Peace

I’m reading a book that asked three questions: do you pursue peace? Do you seek peace? Do you chase after it every day?

Unfortunately, my answer was no far more than yes. Of course I want peace. Daily, I tell myself I’m choosing peace. But do I intentionally seek out peace?

Peace is something everyone wants. No one wants to be miserable or stressed. Yet, I’ve noticed that peace seems to be one of the things we want to just happen. For me, I want peace to come to me without the work. I mean it’s peace, so shouldn’t it?

As I’ve been reading in Romans, we’re more or less told to work at living at peace with everyone. Work at it. Meaning that it won’t come naturally or easily in this fallen world. Much like love is action and work so is peace.

So, ask yourself the three questions above. Do you pursue, seek, and chase peace? If not, how can you start?

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God

Romans 12:18

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. – Romans 12:18 NLT

Here we go again. Work to live in peace with everyone. Paul really wanted to get this point across to the Romans. The point that we need to work towards harmony. We need to live in peace, and not just with other believers but with everyone.

If believers won’t live in peace, should we expect anyone else to? Hear me out, people should make the choice to come to Jesus Christ on their own. We will all be accountable for what we chose to do with the truth. However, Christians should live in a way that makes following Christ attractive.

I’m not saying we have to present our lifestyle as “fun,” although being a Christian is fun. We should be attractive in the peace we have. We should be attractive in the kindness we show. We should be attractive in the joy of the Lord.

Yes, I believe Paul is telling the Romans to work hard at peace, which can be difficult, but I also believe there are some simple ways start doing that. Forgive quickly. Apologize first. Find joy in every day. Work hard to live in peace because that’s what’s going to influence others.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships, Thanksgiving

Romans 12:11

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
Romans 12:11 NLT

Never be lazy. That just hit me. We all have lazy days, sluggish ones where we don’t want to do anything. But this scripture says never be lazy. So I think we need to define what lazy means.

The online dictionary says unwilling to work or use energy. So in other words never be unwilling to work or unwilling to use energy. We may feel lazy, but we don’t have to be lazy.

Work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. In essence, this verse is saying that when we’re working, we’re to work to glorify God. We glorify God by working hard and by showing enthusiasm in our work.

Do we have to love what we do in order to do this? No, we actually don’t. But we can love Who we do it for, and out of love for God, we can work with enthusiasm.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Thanksgiving

Much with Little

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 NLT

God’s still working on and in people. We are imperfect beings. Sometimes realizing that is hard. We just want to be better or get better sooner. However, we have to understand it’s a process.

There’s a lot of good news in the verse above. Paul points out a lot to encourage us:

1) He was certain. When people are certain about things they tell you, isn’t that much more reassuring? He was certain about his statement and Paul was quite reputable therefore his certainty is quite reassuring.

2) God began the work. We’ve seen the beauty of God’s work all around us, so knowing that God is at work is good news for us all.

3) God will continue the work. God didn’t begin the work and leave it up to chance. He began the work, will continue the work, and will finish the work.

So, God is far from giving up on us. God began a work within us to continue to work on us. There are some quotes that come to mind, a phrase “pardon my progress” and a song “please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.”

He’s not. But we can look forward to the day He will finish at Christ’s return. We’ll be in awe that God did so much with seemingly so little– you and I.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships, Thanksgiving, writing

1 Corinthians 13 – Mini Devotion

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1‭-‬3 NLT

As Christians, everything we do should be done out of love. These verses remind us that the greatest accomplishments in the world mean nothing if they’re not done out love. Love for God and love for His creation. Today, what are some things you can do with love? Is it school work? Is it holding the door for someone? Is it simply using positive words? Today, let’s let love be our motivation.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Encouragement, God, Relationships, Thanksgiving