By guest blogger Rebekah Bush
Co-host of the Nuggets of Truth Podcast
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Perhaps, if you are like me, you have had some “jobs” that have felt so interesting you loved them and others you wondered if you would survive the monotony of them. Sometimes we find ourselves just plodding along doing the same tasks over and over, forgetting the eternal significance of our lives, but God’s Word reminds us that no matter our work, we can do the smallest task for Him.
Sometimes in our various work, whether in the home or the corporate world, we can start to feel like we aren’t getting anywhere. Have you ever felt like you were on a hamster wheel, not making any progress? Homemaking and homeschooling can sometimes feel this way to me as the same jobs keep coming back, cleaning, diapers, math, cooking, reading, and laundry.
As a culture, we are obsessed with PROGRESS, GOALS, and GETTING to the NEXT LEVEL….
But I think we can learn a good lesson from 2020, sometimes going nowhere is the best thing to do! I have come to love this idea, not all the time, but slowing down for me has been a good thing. There is something to be said for simplicity in our lives.
God created work before sin entered the world, so what the Bible says about our work?
I often tape verses above my sink in the kitchen, and here is one that was recently up there. 1 Corinthians 15:58- So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
As believers, God calls us to ALWAYS work enthusiastically for him because we KNOW that nothing we do for the Lord is EVER useless. Work in 1 Cor 15:58, means labor, toil, or hardship, and useless means empty or in vain. We are essentially to embrace hardship and toil for the Lord because we KNOW it isn’t empty or meaningless work.
We know from other passages in the New Testament that all things, whether seemingly meaningful or of minor importance, can be done for the Lord and to His glory. I need this reminder! How about you?
In Colossians 3:17, we read, “And whatever (means everything) you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
And then just a few verses later in Colossians 3:23, it says, “Work willingly (heartily, literally from the soul-give all) at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” When we have kids, we most likely aren’t getting a lot of thank you’s, but Paul here tells us we must do our work from the soul as though we are doing it for the Lord. Whether you work in the home or out, our motivation must be to work for the Lord, not a reward from man.
In Ephesians 2:10, we read, “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” The word workmanship is the Greek word poiēma and is where we get the English word poem. Did you know that God created you as his poem? He wants our all. And by giving Him our all, we will gain a perspective like none other. We will learn how to live because of eternity, and we will see ourselves as God’s poem and then pass our life like we are all-in for him. We will find ourselves saying with Nehemiah, “Don’t be dejected and sad, The joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)
If you are a follower of Jesus, you live for a higher purpose, whether running a large company or a small army of little people or just slugging it out somewhere in between in a career. As believers, all work is spiritual.
But if you find yourself today in a season of burnout, take heart. Most of us have experienced burnout at some point; it is normal and won’t last forever; your job now is to allow God to refresh you.
In 2 Peter 1:3, we are told, “He (God) has given us everything we need for life and Godliness.” This verse is such a good one to memorize. Between God’s word, which is full of encouragement, the Holy Spirit within you (who by the way is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead), and your connection with other believers, you have some high-powered resources at hand. Employ them.
Take time with the Lord daily. The benefit of time with the Lord is developing the “right mindset,” a healthy mindset that will become your motivation for living and working.
Turn off the TV and limit social media, which can make others’ lives look like a fairytale. Turn on the worship music and great podcasts that will encourage your walk with the Lord. If you work at home, take a few minutes each day for you- make the kiddos spend some time in their room so you can have a pot of tea and rest, meditate, and pray. And working outside the home, moms, guard your family time. And lastly, determine to enjoy life. Give it your all, live life like your whole soul is in it.
The details of our particular situations aren’t essential because we can all get into a rut of feeling like what we do makes no difference. Still, God’s Word reminds us that when we offer even the most redundant tasks up to the Lord and work as if working for Him, we can find meaning in the little parts of life. It’s in the daily laying down of ourselves, the joyful service of others whether at home or out in the community, that our character is shaped to be more and more like Jesus.
Be encouraged! God can use a lifetime of laundry, feeding people, opening your home, sharing your things, showing up at your job, and a whole bunch of other seemingly small choices to significantly impact entire lives- and to change you!