Paul’s Job

paulDo you hate Mondays? In my opinion, they are not too bad. Maybe the problem is not the day, but the fact that your job stinks. 

Do you hate your job? I have been thinking about this whole ideology lately on how we work just for the purpose of money. We dream of rocket ships and the stars, but we wake up to bills and clock-ins. The sounds of “you need to make money” echo in our heads, but how does that translate into the Bible?

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Colossians 3:23-24

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

I mention that last one primarily because it comes from Paul. In that passage, Paul was a bit irritated with the Thessalonian church. A few of their members had quit their jobs because they expected Jesus to return soon. It very well could have happened, but in the meantime, they were freeloading off of the members who still worked. Paul supported helping the poor, but he despised supporting “busybodies,” those who intentionally refused to work.

All of this is very important because I just discovered something about him this week. Paul was not in full-time ministry. He actually had a run of the mill, blue-collar day job. As one of my favorite Bible characters, I had always looked at him as this radical, intense missionary. The truth is that Paul, more often than not, refused to be paid for preaching the Gospel. However, the payments he did receive were in the form of multiple lock-ups and beatings. He was stubborn; therefore, he earned a living by making tents.

Paul could have been otherwise unimportant, but he was persistent. His hard work and dedication got him somewhere and has helped shape my view of the workforce. In ministry, you have this weird formula where you need a job to go on mission trips, but you cannot go on these trips if you have a job. It seems like there is no solution sometimes.

Maybe you have to work, or maybe you can pursue a greater perhaps, but within both of these options is the choice to give glory to God. Colossians 10:31 says that whatever you do should be done for the glory of God. There is a time to receive gifts and find a way to make your calling work, but there is also a time to work so that you can give back.

You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all these things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ Acts 20:34-35

Whatever you find yourself doing, do it for the glory of God and make your Monday something you want to wake up for.

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