“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.”
We are continuing our focus on work ethic … what we are calling The Prime Directive.
Those who know God have great energy for God. In particular, they have great energy for their daily work. Why? Work is not just something we do to put food on the table. It is one of the primary purposes for which God created us.
Consider what would happen if everyone quit working right now. Civilized life would quickly disappear. Food would vanish from the shelves, gas would dry up at the pumps. There would be no electricity or running water. Communication and transportation services would stop. Those who survived would soon be huddled around campfires, sleeping in caves, clothed in worn-out clothing.
The difference between chaos and civilized culture is work.
It’s worth noting that when God became a man and entered the world, he came as a carpenter. He was a worker in wood who built and repaired things. In many ways, that is a metaphor that represents what he has called each of his followers to do. Be a worker who builds and repairs things.
And again, knowledge is central to the mission. We should be fully informed as to the nature of work in a fallen world. There should be no naive expectations that it will be easy or simple. It will not always be fun or fulfilling. It will sometimes be tedious and difficult and frustrating. Which is precisely why the Lord called and commissioned his people to do the work!
Paul understood the powerful relationship between trusting God and working with energy.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1.28-29)
Knowing God means knowing why you go to work every day, and having great energy for your job. Another way to say it is that we should go to work “inspired.” That is, filled with the energy and power of the Holy Spirit and inspired to fulfill The Prime Directive. Here is what having energy for your job means:
> Energy for doing the work. Christians should be people who get things done. We should be known for our work ethic and being highly productive.
> Energy for continuous improvement. Christians should be people who enhance, innovate, and pursue better ways of doing things.
> Energy for people. Christians should be people who engage, connect, and collaborate with others. We should be known for building productive relationships and being the kind of colleague with whom others want to work. We should not be surprised when there are difficult and irritating people at work; we should be prepared to respond with wisdom.
> Energy for problem-solving. Christians should be people who solve problems, not complain about them. The Christian who knows God also knows that in a fallen world, there will always be problems at work. Lots of problems. And it is our calling to help solve those problems. There is no room for blaming or complaining in the Christian way of working. No BCD!
> Energy for personal growth and skill-building. Christians should be people who grow and get progressively better in their job-related expertise and skill. We should be passionate about developing our knowledge and competency. That includes behavior skill and technical skill.
> Energy for building culture. Christians should be people who contribute to building a positive, productive, and high-performance work environment.
> Energy for sharing the gospel. Christians should be people who find opportunities to introduce the love and lordship of Christ to people at work.
> Energy for spiritual warfare. Finally, Christians should be prepared and equipped to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy at work. Satan knows the importance of work in the life of the Christian, and he knows the importance of the role of Christians at work. Therefore, he will do whatever he can to distort, disrupt, and discourage you in your job.
When the alarm goes off in the morning, the people of God should be motivated and energized and inspired to go to work and have dominion. It is what God created us to do.
It is The Prime Directive. Trust God and do the work.