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How do you view work?

“I view work as a necessary function of life that generates for me an income.”

“I view work as a pleasant experience in life that gets me out of the house and away from tension at home.”

“I view work not only as necessary, but something I enjoy because of how I feel at the end of the day – I contributed.”

Perhaps there are many other answers to the question “How do you view work?” Sometimes work is an escape. One can go to work and hide from matters at home or hide from struggles in the world that may be both at home and in other areas of life. There are many occasions when disappointment sets in and going to work allows the disappointment to be shelved to the corner of the mind where one is not quickly going to think about it. Sometimes work is a chore because the people one works with is less than they should be. It seems as if Pete always wants to control things, the manager is failing in her responsibilities, and cares only for the dollar, not the service rendered! Being productive is beneficial to not only the one working, but also in relation to the service rendered; thus, it is very important. Some guidance from Ecclesiastes can be of help to see this.

Think about work from the perspective of Ecclesiastes 4:8. Solomon reflected on the miseries of life from the perspective of “under the sun.” He concluded long before the famous words of chapter 12, life is meaningless without God. In the course his discussion on these things, he reflected on the man who works, but works all alone. He is 1) alone, without a partner, 2) has no family, 3) works incessantly, 4) is not satisfied with what he accomplished, 5) does not reflect on the purpose for what he does.

I watched a show called “Strange Inheritance” about a man who had a hobby that consumed him; he married in 1951 (I think), and by the time 1971 came around, he was divorced. There are far more complicating reasons for divorce than what the show could portray, but it left this impression – he was a man consumed by his hobby. That which he did conveyed to his wife he was more interested in his hobby than in her. Sometimes people tend to matters outside the family that are related to work, hobbies and/or recreation – all the while making major contributions to the family’s destruction.

The preacher in Ecclesiastes does not speak well of a person who is a workaholic, and the preacher (Solomon) speaks from much wisdom. Two things for which one needs reminding on matters like this. First, a workaholic is depriving his family of the love and attention promised when the wedding vows were made. This is a major contribution to the demise of the family, starting with the husband and wife. When such things occur, the contributor is thinking and standing opposed to the Lord, and it does not matter they would deny it—their life expresses what words refuse to convey. It is obvious to anyone this person thinks only about self and self’s interests. When Jesus taught His disciples about the sanctity of marriage, He said this: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” The workaholic is guilty of exactly this!

Second, the solution is not in work, but in relationship. The relationship must first start with the Lord, and this is not simply a matter of “being baptized”! It’s a matter of daily walking with the Lord. Second, one’s relationship with the spouse must be nurtured. Third, building relationships with people actually makes one stronger in character. Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and see what you think. Denney Petrillo said four things result in these relationships; there is more productivity in two working together than one, there is mutual care as the two works toward a single end, the warmth in the two can be practical (husband/wife) and emotional (as in emotional support), the safety of two or more is obvious in comparison with only one.

The pictures below speak volumes about relationships—both in the Lord’s family and one’s personal family. What are you doing to enhance both? RT