They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life. ESV 1 Timothy 6:18-19
Do you ever get the sense you are working hard and getting nowhere? Like life is a perpetual treadmill? I was reading an interesting book this afternoon that challenged parents to consider giving up some of their work ethic. While Christians normally encourage each other to work harder for the kingdom, this author pointed out we may do better in raising our children if we worked less. While I’ll blog about some of his ideas on Tuesday when we discuss our offspring, he made some legitimate points for today’s discussion on work.
Paul challenges us to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share. However, I have observed far too many people (at least in my community) that don’t have time to engage in good works because they are working so much. So many of us commute long distances and work long hours that prevent us from serving our King first. We also often take on mortgages and car payments and lifestyles that demand ever increasing hours, promotions and dedication, crippling us from living a generous lifestyle. While God can use us in these challenging work environments and calls some of us to them, perhaps He is calling others of us to work less and serve more. If we have food, clothing and shelter, perhaps we can spend more time serving others, doing good, and impacting the world for Christ.
We only have so much time, and each day, we have one day less to live for the gospel. Take stock of your life. Are you able to live as generously as you would like? Is you work schedule controlling your time and preventing you from impacting others? Perhaps a career change is in order. Perhaps you don’t need that next promotion. Perhaps you should stay where you are. Our goal in spiritual formation is to consider all areas of our lives under the Lordship of Christ. That may involve stepping back at work. Perhaps in doing this you can take hold of that which is truly life.