Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What really matters....

Mercy Now appears to have supplanted Skeeter Joe (come on back bro!) as the cure for writer's block for now. A great point is raised; if we concentrate on work, don't we simultaneously choose that which does not matter over the real relationships which do?

And so a corrollary axiom comes up; we derive most joy not from activities for which we get paid, but rather from activities we perform gratis. In the same way, God receives His glory in great part for something He did gratis, didn't He?

What a nice turn as well; gratis, of course, comes from the root word gratia, and we celebrated the dawn of sola gratia last night. Not a bad deal at all.

Especially since nobody came by our house last night and the ice cream bars are all ours!

6 comments:

Skeeter said...

I have to say I really didn't like what Mercy Now said. If we travel down that road too far, we'll end up condemning people who follow God's leading into careers that happen to have good incomes. One must be careful to discern whether it is God or the church calling someone to a certain career. A lot of people I think end up in ministry they aren't suited for because of peer pressure like this: "if you make good money, that's proof you don't have a servant's heart," or, "if you have a secular career, you are not under the lordship of Christ." God is the one that gives gifts and talents and personality, and who orchestrates one's life journey. Together these will point someone to a career that fits them like a glove, and blessed is the one who actually gets an opportunity to do it. If God has crafted a person into a magnificent stock broker, or a fantastic lawyer, who is their brother to condemn them for it? (See Romans 14:1-4) I wonder how many people turn down such opportunites when God brings them to them because of churchy false guilt.

Bike Bubba said...

Hmmm...I've never actually seen a "churchy guilt" applied to those who are in good professions. (may I never!) Can't deny that you might have seen it, though.

What I've seen more often is good men & women pushing out the eternal for the sake of getting their next promotion in their career. What about you, Mercy?

Skeeter said...

I'm certainly not denying that there are lots of people who get caught up in loving the world. All I'm saying is that there is not a perfect correlation between having a "good job" and worldliness.

Mercy Now said...

My intent may not have come out correctly w/ my words so here's further clarification. To work 80 hours a week for the sake of worldly gain is not ideal. To work in a profession for the sake of God is not the same.

We should strive to work in a profession where our passion is, the very desire that God gives us. Athletes run and do sports professionally and scientists do research, etc, nothing wrong w/ these. The danger is when someone loves his passion so much that he doesn't balance it w/ other things in life like building relationships, serving the needy/poor, helping the widows, looking after the orphans.

One can argue that working 80 hours a week will have a bigger paycheck which will allow one to contribute more financially. Even if one has a passion to work 100 hours a week, then doesn't it become a bit selfish to do so and forsake other responsibilities that are commanded of us?

Skeeter said...

Thanks for clarifying. I agree with you, and I can see that in what you wrote. At the same time, though, I'll insist that we shouldn't be confident we can judge the choices other people make so easily. It takes really knowing the person's individual situation, superficial appearances can be deceiving. One can just as easily get too busy building relationships, serving the needy and poor, helping widows, and looking after orphans. It comes down to finding a good definition for busy, and I'd suggest that it is working to please someone other than God, be it yourself or other people. One person does a lot of ministry to look good at church, and another is a professional athlete who has a rigorous training regimen out of a conviction to be a steward of the gifts God gave him. They both put in the same amount of time in the week, but which do you think pleases God with their work? I get the feeling from what you've written that you'd sooner praise the first than the second.

Bike Bubba said...

Interesting choice of example, Joe. It actually turns out that once a rigorous training regimen gets past a certain point, one's athletic skills are degraded.

You're now the cure for writer's block again! :^)