Saturday, August 14, 2010

Heritage from God

18 Here is what I have seen: It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. 19 As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.
(Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, New King James Version)

Heritage from God

Our verses today from Ecclesiastes 5 are a welcome change from Solomon's rather discouraging discourse on the emptiness of riches. One of the difficulties of working with a few verses from the Bible at a time, is that we sometimes must wait a few days for the summation or conclusion of the matter.

It is plain to see that Solomon does not discredit those who have riches. Rather he gives some timely advice on the proper attitude toward wealth. Wealth is to be seen as a heritage from God, which is to be enjoyed. As a matter of fact, work is not something that should be a drudgery to us; we should find great joy and satisfaction in all of our labor.

You may say, "Yeah, but you do not know my job. There is no way I enjoy working."

What should we do if we find ourselves in this situation? As Christians, we should see work as a blessing from God. In these days of high unemployment this is easier to understand. Even so, that does not mean that we need to be stuck in a job we despise.

Understanding that our abilities and interests are God-given and unique to ourselves, we should use them to guide us to a career that we would really enjoy. If we are at the point in life where we are still trying to determine a path to take in life or have the opportunity to make some changes, we should understand that wages are not the most important consideration in determining the right career for ourselves. Many people make good wages, but are miserable in their career field.

That being said, even in a miserable job, as Christians we can take joy in doing the best job we can for our employers. We also should pray that God would help us to enjoy what we do, and keep us from complaining about our employers or our bosses.

When working in a factory, I observed an employee who was being ridiculed for brown-nosing. She turned to her fellow employee and said, "I am just as frustrated as you over some of our employer's attitudes and requirements, but as a Christian I work hard to be pleasing to the Lord. He is the One I need to please."

So, let us remember that our wealth, whether great or little, is a heritage from God. Let us pray that God would help us to find great pleasure in the life we live so that we, too, can keep busy with the joy of our hearts in our heritage from God.

God Bless You,

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