Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Whatever Your Hand Finds to Do...

"Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going." -Ecclesiastes 9:10

          For those of you who don't know me, I'm a bit of a workaholic. When I have a lot of work to do, I will wake up early, and work until late. I will stress, I will work, and I will somehow enjoy it. But sometimes, I get tired, and I get sluggish and I wake up late. I neglect my responsibilities, and I forget about how important it is to work hard, even when I don't always feel like it. A passage you're likely familiar with, Proverbs 6:6-11, and I won't have the whole thing here, but I would like to encourage you to read it on your own. Verse 6 says, "Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise." But why? Why is it important that we work hard? Why is it important that we "go to the ant"?

          If you have read Proverbs 31 -and if you haven't then I strongly encourage you to- then you will know that it talks a lot about a woman who is noble. She is described as more precious than jewels, and whoever she marries will have no lack of gain. She's described as someone who works willingly with her hands, she is willing to bring her food from a great distance, she rises early and sleeps late. She is up all night working if need be, and is wise with her money. Now I could go on, but it would take up quite a bit of space. But no matter who you are, Christian or atheist, feminist or anti-feminist, you will agree that all of these traits are virtuous, and that we should all strive to obtain them. When we are hard workers, we show ourselves to be dignified, and reputable. This not only gives us as people a lot of credit, but more importantly, it gives God a lot of glory.  In doing this, we are showing others that God's people are not lazy, or busy bodies who have nothing better to do than to gossip, but that we are people of great virtue; just as He is a God of great virtue.

          It's also important that we remember the work that we are to be doing above all else, and that is the work of the Lord. Another verse that you're likely familiar with, Mark 16:15, says, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." and in James 1:27 we read that "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." and in 1 Timothy 5, Paul tells Timothy to encourage the younger widows in the congregation where he was preaching, to marry again. Why would this be important to do? We read in 13-14, that it's so that they don't become idle, and turn into gossips that do nothing but go and talk to their friends about the lives of others. "So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander."  We are to always be looking for ways to serve others, and more importantly serve Christ, so that we don't end up serving ourselves, and therefore Satan.

          As the summer is coming up, it can be tempting to choose to spend all of your time sleeping in, watching movies, reading books, and going to friends' houses. Don't get me wrong, it's important to rest. However, it's even more important that we don't turn our rest into laziness. Today I would like to encourage you to continue your work for the Lord, and to ask yourself if you're working your hardest, and who you're working the hardest for. You may be surprised with the answer. I would also like to encourage you to read the passages I mentioned previously, as man can lead others astray, but the Bible never will. Most importantly, I would like to encourage you to remember Who it is that we serve, and to always put Him as your number one priority.