When Work is a Joy

“Tell her to help me!” – Luke 10:40

 

Most of us Americans hate work.  Most students can’t stand studying.  It is purely a means to an end for us.  We need it to pay bills, eat, and buy the things we like.  I saw where the Massachusetts lady won the 700 million.  What was the first thing she did?  Tell her boss she isn’t coming to work anymore.

 

In Luke 10, we have the story of Martha and Mary.  I have heard it preached many times.  Jesus rebukes Martha when she tells Him to jump on her sister for not helping out with the preparations.  He tells her that the source of her frustrations is worry about many things.  Sounds pretty familiar.  Like most Americans today, she is working because she feels like she has to . . . not because she wants to.

 

I was so unfulfilled working as a teacher for probably the first seven years of my career.  For one, I wasn’t very good at it.  Just because I barely survived some ridiculously hard math classes at Clemson University, they gave me a certificate that said I was ready to teach kids.  I was not.  I tried to do it, but other than a few moments here and there, there was just no joy in it.  If I had won the lottery . . . I’d have said, “See ya!”

 

I learned something though.  One day, after reading the Bible, I decided I was going to go to work, not for a paycheck, but to honor God.  I absolutely could not believe the difference.  Sure, I was still tired at times, but I began to love what I do.  I began to be fulfilled doing it.  Work became a joy.

 

Yesterday, I kind of flew off the handle at a student.  I’m really contemplating this morning exactly why.  I witnessed an attitude that I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of times.  This time though, it just set me off.  I’m just sitting here examining my heart and wondering if I’m worried about many things.  I did just like Martha, “Jesus, tell that kid to get up and do something!  He’s not trying like I’m trying!”

 

I think I’ve learned something.  Martha was working for the Lord, which was a good thing.   The problem arose when she started looking around and began to feel like others weren’t working like she was.  Of course this frustrated her.  The lesson is:  If I’ll just stay focused on doing what I’m doing for my Lord and Savior, I’ll be so full that I won’t really care what others are doing.  I won’t care that they make more money than me for doing much less. I won’t care that they stink at their job.  I won’t care that they seem to get to do nothing.  I basically won’t care that others don’t care.  Well, that last part isn’t true, but I must understand that anger isn’t going to change anybody’s heart and make them see the light.  I’ll stop playing this useless comparison game.  That game does not lead to joy in my heart.  I just want to work like I’m working for Him.

 

I so had this at one time.

 

I think I’ve lost it somewhere along the way.

 

I want it back.

 

Lord, today, today let me work like I’m working for You.  Let me take my eyes off of others and what they are doing.  Let my heart remain so connected to You.  I pray for the hearts of any who might read this this morning.  May they go to work today knowing that of all the places on the planet You could have placed them, You put them exactly where they are to do exactly what they are doing.  It is absolutely amazing.  Help our tasks to not be mundane.  Help us not look down at the Mary’s and believe they have it easier.  Help us to be more like Mary by taking the time to sit at Your feet.  For it is there that we will learn to work with full hearts that are not worried about many things.  It is there that we will obtain a light that so shines before men that others see our good deeds and glorify You, our Father in Heaven.

 

Amen

 

Adam Hopkins
Lifeline Community Church
http://www.lifelinecc.com

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About wednesdaymorningdevotional

I am currently the pastor of Lifeline Community Church in Fair Play, South Carolina. I also teach mathematics to middle schoolers. I have been publishing devotionals every Wednesday morning for about 7 years now. If you would like to listen to any of my actual sermons, visit www.lifelinecc.com.
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