REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Yohan Lee, a friend of AMI, was first posted on November 13, 2014. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania (BA) and Cairn University (MA), Yohan served as a staff at several AMI churches in the past.
Devotional Thought for this Morning
“Value of Hard Work”
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. 9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? 10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, 11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
Having recently moved to San Francisco, which is not too far from Silicon Valley, it seems like just about everyone I meet works in tech. Also, there are a significant number of young people who have won the dot.com lottery and hit it rich by being part of a company that went public. (I know none of these people.) So every once in a while, I will see a 20-something year old driving a Ferrari, which totally freaked me out the first time I saw it, and I indignantly commented, “I would never let my kid drive my Ferrari.” But I nearly broke my jaw on the ground when the person I was with informed me that that “kid” was likely the owner.
I wonder what the dot.com goldmine has done to shape our view of the work ethic. Do we value hard work and a steady income as our parent’s generation did? For example, let’s say that you were working at an Internet based company, and it never blew up to become the next Facebook, but it did provide you with a good income for your family and to give generously to the church and missions. Would that be okay for you or would you feel like you were wasting your time? For those not working in tech, but are highly educated and in relatively “professional” careers (which includes the majority of the AMI community), how do you view those who have “blue collar” jobs? Do you treat the check-out girl at your local Target with the same dignity and respect that you show your physician?
Today’s Proverb speaks about the value of hard work. When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them the job of working the garden; so work was God’s idea. The ant is praised for her daily diligence, and the sluggard chastised. Paul says in 1 Thess. 4:11-12: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” Does your work ethic win the respect of outsiders? Do you respect those who work hard in whatever job they have, because they, too, work for a living?
Prayer: Lord, please remind me continually to know that I work not for men, but for You (Col. 3:23). Help me to honor hard work as it builds character and trust. Also, help me to be content with my job, and to respect those who work hard, knowing that they are made in Your image, and they too are doing their best to provide for themselves and their families.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Corinthians 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Col. 3:22-25: Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.
Questions to Consider
- According to this passage, how can we worship God through our work?
- What are some incentives for working hard?
- How do you view your job and work? Would you say that you worship God through your work?
- First, we work with integrity, even when no eyes are on us. Second, we work with a sincerity of heart, with the understanding that we are really working for God, not man.
- First, we know that God sees our work and how we work. Second, we have faith that God rewards us if we are faithful in work (3:24).
- Personal application question.
How was work today? Did you work hard and faithfully? Were you honest in your dealings? Did you represent Christ in your workplace? Did you thank the person at Starbucks who served you (or whoever served you lunch)?