“When people ask me to name the Ligonier teaching material they should use to help them grow; I tell them, ‘You should start with The Holiness of God.’”
Flatøyvegen 24, 5918 Frekhaug, Norway
My dad recently wrote me a response to a question I had for him regarding work. How do we balance desires, passions, responsibility, and obligation? I respect the wisdom-
I read an article in WORLD magazine in which David Miller, from Princeton, expressed some of his thoughts on “Good Business.” I concur with his statements and have found them to be true to me in my life. I share some of them here:
One of the Hebrew words for work is “avadah,” which is translated as work, as worship, and as service. I heard this many years ago when I started my work career (when you were the ages of your daughters), and believe this to be true: the work God provided for me was His appointment for me, so I approached it in that way. Any work that I could/would do would be of service to others, and should reflect His character in all I do. Thus, whatever I did (filling trailers with stacks of shingles/shakes, driving trucks, teaching, coaching, etc etc) would essentially be His gift to me, and my gift to Him in response would be to reflect His character in all my work, to honor Him. Whatever work I did I saw as “a mission.” That added significance in my mind to whatever I did, regardless of however meaningful or menial the work was.
In response to a question about doing business work, he said: Go back and look at where Solomon is building the temple. The craftsmen are described in almost priestly terms. I would add that the same is true of the skilled craftsmen who worked with Nehemiah to rebuild the Jerusalem walls after the Jews returned to their homeland from Babylon. God definitely has a place in our “world of work” for workers of various skills and abilities — all of whom serve specific purposes in the world economy and for its good and the good of others.
He also responded to one who questioned him about “being on top, and career sucess.” Dave’s response to him was this: I advised him to remain in his current job and not go to a foreign mission field because his current job had enormous amount of influence. His company was his flock to lead. I too see that our mission field for Him can be anywhere from our own home and neighborhood….all the way to an overseas mission assignment. God places human faces before us daily, and that is my/our mission field. God’s appointment to mission fields is different for each one. Dave also added, The first goal for a person in business should be excellence and integrity. I would add that those are characteristics that indeed reflect God’s nature. If we are handling our business affairs with honesty, fairness, and integrity, we will bring honor to Him.
Another discussion point was about the confusion between money and success. His response to that was: I was tempted to have money as an idol. I’d like to have more money than less, but money is a trap. The word “mammon” in Aramaic doesn’t just mean “money.” It means “that in which you place your trust.” I agree with his implication here. Income is necessary and good, but we cannot place any of our confidence in money, or accounts, for they can flee away in a split second….and we cannot carry it into the grave for any good purpose.
“The longer you play it safe and avoid risk and the potential of loss, the more you will accept the present and lose your capacity to dream about and shape the future. When you give your fears more authority than the Spirit of God, all chance of God-exalting valor and generational impact is lost.”
Saw an interesting billboard tonight on the way home from work. Most of the text was in a foreign language, but at the bottom was a bold line written in English. It stated, “Intellectual property infringement is a sin.” I found it odd. I couldn’t make out the intent of the message as the accompanying picture seemed to hold no relevance to the text. Obviously, lost in translation.
However, what really struck me was the irony - for me, anyway - of the term sin used in the context of the sentence. I have always understood sin to mean missing the mark. The mark being the holy standard set by God. Yet in this context, sin was used to describe intellectual property infringement. I found the use of the term “sin” intellectual property infringement, in and of itself. Humorous. For me, anyway.
One day closer to death…