Monday, December 29, 2014
The Value of Work, The Need For Service
Ephesians 4:28 prefers "working hard" to "hardly working." This verse says that thieves—and, by implication, all of us—should work hard. You don't see this in our translation, but it is clear in the original language. The NIV says that people "must work, doing something useful with their own hands." The Greek verb translated here as "must work" suggests not just any quality of work, but hard work in particular. If you were to look up this verb, kopiao, in a Greek-English dictionary, you'd find translations such as, "become weary, become tired, exert oneself, work hard, toil, struggle." Paul often uses kopiao in reference to his demanding work as an apostle (see 1 Cor. 15:10; Phil. 2:16). Work, whether labor to earn an income or church planting work or you name it, is often hard. It can be exhausting. It can demand mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical investment and leave us worn out.I love this sentence, "You and I, as human beings, were created to work, to use our full capacities in order to ensure that God's creation functions as it is supposed to, leading to fruitful living for all creatures."That says so much about the nature of our work as well as the fact that we are supposed to work. To ensure the proper functioning of all creation and fruitful living for all creatures is a pretty tall order. It requires a huge diversity of activity. And it points out that each activity, no matter how mundane it may seem is important. We serve God's purposes in ways that are not direct and that we cannot see or imagine.
Our passage doesn't explain why we should work hard. But this imperative grows out of a biblical understanding of work. You and I, as human beings, were created to work, to use our full capacities in order to ensure that God's creation functions as it is supposed to, leading to fruitful living for all creatures. Of course, when sin entered in, work became more difficult and painful. Yet, this does not mean that all hard work is wrong or to be avoided. In fact, some of the most rewarding experiences of life come as we invest our full energies in a worthwhile project.
We think so directly. We think that to change the world we have to produce the change. Not so. We have to be part of the machine that changes the world and we may never understand how our activity leads to that goal. Do you think a gear in a clock knows how its action leads to time keeping? If you have ever worked on a clock then you know you just cannot have the perspective from inside the clock to know all of what is going on. To demand such perspective and understanding is to demand a creator's vantage point - to in some sense put your self in God's place. Isn't that the definition of sin?
Sometimes we just need to click, on click at a time.
humility perspective work