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23rd March: Work -- A Part of Life

Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not man. Colossians 3:23

Work is an important part of life and features prominently in affluent societies. For some the reason for working is solely to earn a living and support a family. Others become obsessed with accumulating money and possession, achieving fame and status, or wielding power and authority over others. A few may work solely to occupy their time or pursue some interest, or even to keep themselves away from less congenial circumstances. But many doctors embark on their chosen career with a sense of vocation and are motivated by a desire to honour God in serving people.

But the pressures of work can be overwhelming. Sadly the writer has seen colleagues and friends who started well drawn, sometimes unwittingly, into the `rate-race' of an achievement orientated society. Their booming practices have robbed them of all their time, their physical health, their family life, and, for some of them, their spiritual vitality as well. Some have slipped back in their Christian lives having, like Deman, loved this present world (2 Tim 4:10). Work has taken the place of God as a first priority. It has become their idol. They have forgotten, too, that God in his wisdom has also designed leisure for our refreshment and renewal (Ex 23:12), and above all the opportunity to replenish our spiritual resources by time spent in his presence.

Sometimes our workload is beyond our control, but it is all too easy to undertake voluntarily, or perhaps for the wrong reasons, more than we can possibly accomplish satisfactorily.

Our only safeguard against allowing work to become an end in itself is to remember that even in our secular work we serve the Lord Jesus Christ and that whatever we do should be done as to the Lord and not to man (Col 3:23-24).

Lord, help me to work hard for you. In the pressures that
come my way, as they surely must, help me to know your
strength and grace. Remind me that my work is a means of
bringing glory to you, and keep me from allowing my work
to become my idol.

Further reading: 1 Cor 3:11-16, 10:31.


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