Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- January 8, 2012
”We worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we did not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’” 2Thessalonians 3:8b-10
Hard work is honorable. It gives a man or woman respect for themselves and others. God is honored as well when you work hard. Be careful not to subscribe to a false theology that uses God in place of hard work. God, of course, is at work on our behalf, but not without our sincere and focused efforts.
However, it is much more than the simple “God helps those who help themselves” mentality. God has a grand design, and you are a part of His greater work. Your part is faithfulness and hard work. God’s part is leading you into wise decisions, which produce the right results as He receives the glory. As followers of Christ, the quality and quantity of our work is a reflection on God.
Do not become the Christian whom everyone avoids because you are lazy and always making excuses. Be the Christian who is attractive because your work is excellent. People can depend on you, and you go the extra mile even when it is not your responsibility. For the good of the team and the glory of God, you work hard. You may even deserve other benefits, but you refuse them during this season for the sake of the bigger picture.
Indeed, hard work keeps you out of trouble. When you are busy working hard, you do not have time to behave badly. Gossip and complaining are absent from the lips of a hard worker. You simply do not have the time or energy to go there. It may be the sweat of your brow or the perspiration of your intellect, either way, work hard. Manual labor and mental toil both require hard work. Carefully avoid condescension toward others because their work role is different than yours. Blue collars need not bad mouth white collars, nor should white collars treat blue collars as if they were inferior. We all need each other, and we all need to work hard.
Your hard work may produce wealth and abundance. Because society values your skills and services, you may even have an overabundance. Make sure you keep your success in perspective. Keep your heart tender toward God. We seem to pray more when we have little than when we have much more than we need. Allow the fruit of your hard work to drive you to your knees in thanksgiving to God. Express your gratitude through generous giving. Hard work has its benefits; make sure to steward them well.
Moreover, teach your children hard work. A child who is given everything can become soft on sin, discontent, demanding and ungrateful. Hard work teaches children the value of a dollar. It builds a discipline that will serve them throughout their lives. They learn how to work with and relate to people. Hard work is a must for a child to grow into
a healthy human being.
Lastly, keep your motive right as you work hard. Keep your focus off the money. Reward and compensation will come if the work is done with excellence. Stay the course, working hard, loving your family, and taking care of your health. Execute your hard work for the glory of God. He is your boss. You are working for Him. Work hard. Work hard so that you can eat. Then you will be a blessing and not a burden to others!
Taken from Dose 80 in the 90-day devotional book, “Infusion”… http://bit.ly/bQHNIE
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