Will You be Ashamed or Have Boldness?

Boldness when Jesus Appears

I was 13 years old, working for my father in the Parts Department of our family automobile business. Surrounded by grown men, mostly auto technicians, I was eager to fit in. I desperately wanted to shed the image of the typical “boss’s kid.” Unfortunately, at an inopportune moment, I did not expect my father to appear. My reaction was predictable!

I had recently been initiated into an ongoing game between the technicians and the parts employees. The technicians took their grease rags, balled them up, and wrapped them in tape. Anytime a parts employee left the window open between the two departments, the technicians would bomb the opening with rag balls.

Are You Focused on Biblical Success?

Biblical Success

Take a few minutes to stop and look around at the world we live in today.  In doing this, you will see that there is no shortage of images that define success for us.  Regardless of the category you choose, the world peppers you with its own definition of success.  The problem is that Christians should be seeking a different kind of “success” altogether.  So what IS it we should seek?  How is Biblical success defined for us?

Is It Time To Upgrade Your Lighting?

long term results

I was recently approached with a need and opportunity to carry out a significant upgrade to our business facility.  While the long term results are positive, the significant upgrade comes with a significant price tag.  Assuming the need was real and the funds available, what would you expect my answer to be?

What Are The Costs Of An Eternal Perspective?

eternal perspective

In my last three posts, I focused on a five-question decision making process. At the very outset of the decision making series, I explained my belief that any decision made from anything but an eternal perspective fails to honor God. One reader, Bernice, commented that she agreed with this, but that I should also point out that there is a cost associated with this line of thinking!

What Is The Purpose Of Christian Business?

purpose

Have you ever stopped to consider what is the main purpose of Christian business? As business leaders, the very purpose of our businesses should be very clear to us. Otherwise, we will likely make decisions and take actions on occasion that oppose this purpose, right? If we are not clear on this purpose, how can we achieve it?

What Is The Best Long Term Gain?

long term gain

With politics, the stock market, and the economy seeming to be so unpredictable to most of us these days, it is very difficult to know where we should invest for the best long term gain. If you talk to a handful of financial advisors, you will likely get a handful of opinions on the subject. Unfortunately, this is not a game that allows us to sit on the sidelines…we must participate. How then do we invest for the best long term gain?

As you might guess, I have a little different perspective for you to consider on this topic.

Are You Willing To Walk Away?

I love movies. One of my favorites is the movie Heat, with Robert Deniro and Al Pacino. Likely my favorite scene in that movie is the coffee shop scene. During this scene, Deniro, a bank robber, is talking face to face with Pacino, a cop. During this conversation, Deniro shares advice he once received about being willing to walk away from anything.

walk away

Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.

While Deniro is referring to “heat” in the sense of law enforcement catching up to him and his crime-filled lifestyle, I think we can apply this same advice to our own lives and even our businesses.

Is Your Work Meaningless?

Have you ever been to the beach on vacation? One popular activity with children is to build sand castles down near the water. You will sometimes find the parents helping them, but more often the parents are sitting back watching or reading a book. I believe it is a subconscious dislike of meaningless work that causes this. Have you considered that?

meaningless

Building Sand Castles

What usually happens is that the kids get started in the smooth, hard-packed sand when the tide is out. I guess this offers a better foundation and is easier to build upon.

They have their buckets and shovels and make frequent trips back and forth to the water. As they form walls and parapets and moats, they seem like they are in another world. In fact, the kids can stay like this for hours if allowed. Sometimes they will even try to miss a meal to keep going!

The problem comes later when the tide starts coming in. Initially, the water starts attacking the base of the castle, eroding the walls. Eventually, the waves overrun the walls and fill the moats with such force that the whole castle is destroyed. Within hours, there is no sign a castle ever existed there.

Not As Exciting For Parents?

My question – why is this not as exciting for parents as it is for the kids? Sure, there is an element of excitement for a parent as they see their kids having fun. But why don’t parents do this without their kids? Why aren’t the kids begging to go back to the room while the parents continue to work on the sand castle?

I am convinced that parents understand how meaningless it is to work hard to create something that will certainly be destroyed within hours. I believe, whether they consciously consider it or not, they know it is meaningless because they will have nothing to show for their work the next day.

Does this make sense? Do you think this same idea may also apply to our work in the marketplace? Have you ever stopped to think about it?

Work Is Meaningless

The author of Ecclesiastes (likely Solomon) certainly thought about this. In fact, he sought all there was in life – all pleasures, wealth, work, etc., and found that all of it was meaningless.

“Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Everything is futile.”
Ecclesiastes 12:8

Many of us have found the same to be true about our work at first. For some, revelation that there was more to it came at an early age. For others, this revelation came later. For many, they cannot see it.

The truth is that (according to Scripture) your work, in and of itself, is meaningless. All that you work for and achieve in this world will burn one day and there will be no reward for it in eternity. Whether you like it or not, this is what the Bible says. Check out 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 to see the basis for this.

There Is Hope!

Fortunately, there is another verse in Ecclesiastes that gives us hope. If this is true, then we can hope to bring more people to the realization that all work is not meaningless.

He has also set eternity in the human heart;
Ecclesiastes 3:11

God put eternity in our hearts. The way I understand this, there is an eternal hole or void in our hearts. We have it from birth and nothing can fill it but Him. No work, wealth, pleasure or achievement can fill that void, no matter how hard we try.

Eternal Perspective

However, once we fill that void through a salvation experience with Jesus, all sorts of opportunities open up to us. Suddenly, our work CAN matter! It is no longer meaningless if we approach it from an eternal perspective!

We first need to realize that our work, to the extent that it points others to God and a relationship with His Son, can have eternal meaning AND create eternal reward! Once we realize this, we can begin working through our jobs and businesses to have impact on people for eternity.

Share With Others!

Then, as we get more clear on how this works, we need to begin sharing this realization with others. Can you imagine what it could look like if all the Christians you know in the business world began doing their jobs and running their businesses with an eternal purpose?

I can tell you that this very idea is what drives me to keep writing this blog. It is the hope that others can come to the realization that their work does not have to be meaningless. It can have dramatic eternal impact if they will simply turn it over to God and follow His lead!

Have you come to this realization regarding meaningless work?

If so, who have you shared it with?

If not, I encourage you to pray about it! Will you?

Original date of post – November 7, 2013