Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011

“This is what I have observed to be good: that it is appropriate for a person to eat, to drink and to find satisfaction in their toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given them—for this is their lot. Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.  They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.”   Ecclesiates 5:18-20

Some of us remember the old country western classic, “Take This Job and Shove It” sung by Johnny Paycheck. A few years later during a recession of the early 1980’s, I heard someone say that the new version of the song had been changed to say, “Shove That Job – I’ll Take It!”

No kidding! Estimates show 14.6 millions who want a job don’t have one. 7.9 million jobs have been lost since the recession started in Fall of 2008. Many of those will never be recovered. Unfortunately, with an unemployment rate of 9.1% there are many who would love to take a job but can’t find one. I saw a report by a private firm that tracks unemployment trends and their findings show for the month of May 28% of 1,000 households surveyed had at least one person unemployed – June was 27.8% and July 28.8%. Their factors that they use to calculate actual unemployment totals shows it at 22% or almost two and a half times more than the Labor Department numbers. Those are heartbreaking statistics.

In view of this current reality, I want to offer some perspective on this important issue of working as I prepare my message for Sunday which will be entitled "Take This Job And Love It".

First, I urge you to love your job as a blessing!

Solomon in his wisdom reminds you that to be able to labor at a job is a "gift from God".

Have you forgotten that?

A husband and his wife woke up one Sunday morning and the wife dressed for church It was just about time for the service when she noticed her husband hadn’t moved a finger toward getting dressed. Perplexed, she asked, “Why aren’t you getting dressed for church?” He said, “Cause I don’t want to go.” She asked, “Do you have any reasons?” He said, “Yes, I have three good reasons. First the congregation is cold. Second, no one likes me. And third, I just don’t want to go.” The wife replied, wisely, “Well honey, I have three reasons why you should go. First the congregation is warm. Second, there are a few people there who like you. And third, you’re the pastor! So get dressed!”

Don't be that guy!

Realize these three facts:

God blesses work!

I have already documented in my last few blogs how God invented work and sanctified it. He has wired us so we need to work in order to find satisfaction and fulfillment. Perhaps if you stopped thinking about your job as work and began thinking about it as worship that would help your attitude.

Second, work blesses you!

In addition to all the spiriual, emotional and psychological benefits of working, there is the practical aspect of being able to provide the basic needs and wants of yourself and your family. What a blessing to enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you can provide for your family and give them the security and stability of knowing they will be cared for!

Finally, work allows you to bless others!

One of the most spiritual things you can do after you have provided for your family is to lend assistance to family and friends in need. That happens through the tithe you give to your church and it happens through special offerings the church fellowship may occasionally collect in response to a need. God never intended for His people to become dependent on the government, they are supposed to take care of one another.

BUT, it is difficult to do that if you don't have a job!

Will you take a moment and thank God for your job? Will you ask Him to help you take that job and love it?

It is a blessing to you, to your family and to others!