We’ve talked in our intro posts about the nature of work, the purpose of work, and the ubiquity of work. In other words, work was provided for us to be “creators”, work forms us mentally to progress towards something, and work is never-ending when viewed in all its forms.
It seems though, that there is one particular form of work that causes angst, resentment, and even a deep sense of guilt in some cases. Professional work for pay, out of all the myriad manifestations of work, causes issues for us. We rarely see our profession as a gift or a form of worship unless we already love what we do or it brings us great personal joy, but that is not the purpose of work.
As we spoke of previously, Christians believe that God has imbued those who have accepted Jesus with gifts that allow them to properly worship Him through their engagement with creation and the created. If this is true, there is nothing that exempts our paid work from this covenant. So, why do we experience issues specifically with labor in this form? I believe it goes back to money.
This post does not have space (and there are others far more versed in the subject) to go into the symbolism of money as it relates to providence , but let’s look superficially where this might have begun. There is a verse in the Bible that says,
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”– Timothy 6:12
I believe it is a misreading of this verse that causes the issue. We latch onto the “money” move to “evil” and determine there is a direct link. So, we begin to view money and evil as synonymous. However, the verse clearly states ,”the love of money” not the acceptance, use, or possession of money. It’s all about love. Do you love the provider or the provision?
If you love the provider than the provision becomes a gift. If you love the provision than you will look to possess it and usurp the provider. Therein lies the evil. Therein lies the angst, the guilt, the unhappiness. Love the provider, be glad for the gift, and continue on with your work joyfully. Spend your time at your profession loving what you do, loving who made it possible, and being free of any guilt. Don’t love what you do? We’ll begin to address that next week!