Work

“Hard work often leads to success. No work seldom does.”

Harvey Mackay, US businessman and author

One writer notes: ‘In the first chapters of Genesis, God is seen to be a designer, builder, gardener, teacher, caretaker, legislator, social worker and tailor.’

We see God at work in the Garden, and our calling and privilege as God’s image-bearers is to tuck in behind the divine purpose and to tend the Garden with him. The Garden is a precursor of the kingdom… This is where we can make a contribution, in tiny details every day, and it gives value to our work and our self-understanding.

We may note, however, that God does not [necessarily] equate work with money. Work does not have to be paid to be significant. Work in the voluntary sector is just as valuable. Childcare is major work, for either parent. The equation of work with the earning of money is a hard one to break, however, and we need to keep returning to the biblical picture of work as the expenditure of energy in the service of God and the world God loves.

– John Pritchard

[Note: John Pritchard, Living Faithfully, 2013, SPCK London, p.67]

Krish Kandiah, Twenty-four: Integrating faith and real life, Milton Keynes: Authentic, 2007, p.52

“People will work eight hours a day for a good salary, ten hours a day for a good boss, and twenty-four hours a day for a good cause.”

John Maxwell

The contemporary concept of retirement can’t be found in the Bible. Yes, you may retire from a job, but you never retire from work. As long as you’re alive, there’s always work God wants you to do. Again, rest, relaxation and retirement are worthy and well-deserved rewards for a life of hard work. But the truth is, as long as you’re alive God has something for you to do! And in doing it you’ll not only find joy and fulfilment, you’ll bless those around you too.

Bob Gass

Source: The UCB Word For Today, 5/7/2018

“Well done is better than well said!”

Benjamin Franklin

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour… A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 NIVUK

There’s power and strength in unity: a funny tale to illustrate… In an old Peanuts cartoon Lucy demands that Linus change TV channels, threatening him with her fist if he didn’t. “What makes you think that you can walk right in here and take over?” asks Linus. “These five fingers,” says Lucy. “Individually they’re nothing but when I curl them together in unity, like this into a single unit, they form a weapon that is terrible to behold.” “Which channel do you want?” asks Linus! Then turning away, he looks at his own fingers and says, “Why can’t you guys get organized like that?”

Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.

Proverbs 28:19 NIV

“Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit.”

George Carlin (Comedian)

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 NIV

“… whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31

“Not what he wishes and prays for does a man get, but what he justly earns. His wishes and prayers are only gratified and answered when they harmonise with his thoughts and actions.”

James Allen

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.

Proverbs 14:23 NIV

“The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it. When men are rightly occupied, their amusement grows out of their work, as the petals colour out of a fruitful flower.”

John Ruskin

Many hands make light work, but some people insist on learning this the hard way. Consider the following letter to an insurance company, from a bricklayer who was injured while trying to get a load of bricks down from the top of a twelve-storey building, without any help.

Dear Sir,

I am writing in response to your request for further information regarding my recent claim for medical benefits and loss of earnings.

I was working alone on the roof of a 12-storey building and I had about a 500lb load of bricks left over. Instead of carrying the bricks down by hand, I decided to put them in a barrel and lower them down by a pulley, which had already been fastened to the top of the building. First of all, I secured the rope at ground level and then I ran back up to the 12th -floor and swung the barrel of bricks out over the side of the building. Then I came back down to the pavement and untied the rope, holding on to it tightly so that I could guide the barrel down slowly. But since I weigh only 180 pounds, the 500-pound load of bricks jerked me from the ground so fast that I didn’t get chance to think about letting go of the rope!

Somewhere between the 5th and 6th floor, I met the barrel coming down. This accounts for my broken collarbone. I was slowed down slightly but continued my ascent until I reached the top, where my hand then became jammed in the pulley. This accounts for my three broken fingers. Fortunately, I still had sense to hold on to the rope but then the barrel hit the ground and the bottom fell out. With the 500 pounds of bricks now gone, the barrel only weighed about 50 pounds and so, as I am sure you can imagine, my 180-pound body began a swift descent. I met the empty barrel coming up again around the 6th floor and this accounts for my two broken ankles and the lacerations to my lower body. Slowed again, but only slightly, I continued my descent until I landed slap bang on top of the pile of bricks. This accounts for my sprained back and broken arm. It was at this point that I completely lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope! The now empty barrel came crashing down on top of my head and this accounts for my fractured skull.

When a task is once begun,
Leave it not until it’s done,
And be a matter great or small,
Do it well or not at all.

“Men need a forum in which to find their significance and make their contribution. That forum is work. Our propensity for work finds its origins at the very beginning of Creation when God prescribed work as the manner in which we would occupy our days. The purpose of work is to glorify God with the abilities He has given us. Men, made for work, must feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in their work, or contentment will elude them. If a man is unhappy in his work, he is unhappy.”

– Patrick Morley

Patrick Morley, The Man In The Mirror, 1997, USA Zondervan, p.212 and p.98

‘Work’

How true it is when I am sad,
A little work can make me glad.
When frowning care comes to my door,
I work a while and fret no more.
I leave my couch harassed with pain,
I work, and soon I’m well again.

When sorrow comes with vain regret,
I go to work and soon forget.
Work smoothes the soul when joys depart,
And often mends a broken heart.
The idle mind soon fills with murk,
So that’s why God invented WORK.

by J. W. Thompson

“If you’ll work hard on your job you’ll make a living, but if you’ll work hard on yourself you’ll make a fortune.”

Jim Rohn

Author, R. Kent Hughes writes, “Each of us has an eternally designed work assignment which includes the task, the ability, and a place to serve. Whatever the task to which He has called you, you will be equipped for it as surely as a bird is made for flight. And in doing the works He has called you to do, you will be more and more your true self… Everything we do ought to be done to the glory of God.”

R. Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man, 2001, Wheaton Illinois, Crossway Books, p.151boat hook

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1 NIVUK

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

2 Chronicles 15:7 NIV

“Little strokes fell great oaks.”

Benjamin Franklin.

“Work is essential to joy.”

Fred Smith, US businessman, speaker and author

Work makes worth

“God gives every bird its food but he doesn’t throw it in the nest for them.”

Anon.

‘Prayer of an Unemployed Man’

Here in the quiet of my room,
I come to Thee for friendship; to feel
That Someone is with me, though unseen.
All day I have seen a multitude of people,
But I am still lonely and hungry for human cheer.

No life has touched mine in understanding;
No hand has clasped mine in friendship;
My heart is empty and my hands are idle.
Help me to feel Thy presence,
So that the disappointment of this day
Shall not overwhelm me.

Keep me from becoming cynical and bitter;
Keep me warm and human, and set a new faith
Before my eyes, and a new hope to live by
And a new spirit with which to overcome discouragements.
Guide me to that very necessary thing
Of life – WORK!
Abide with me and be my friend.

by W. C. Ackerly

“Work is a consequence of the creation, not the fall, and is intended by God as a means to a partnership with him, the service of others and self-fulfilment.”

John Stott

John Stott, I Believe in Preaching , p.312

If the job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well. And if it’s not worth doing, then why bother starting it in the first place!

R. Ian Seymour

On the whole, it makes much more sense to arrive at work early than it does to stay late. When you frequently arrive early to work it shows that you are keen, conscientious, reliable and eager to get started. On the other hand, frequently working late might give rise to the impression that it takes you longer to accomplish your tasks each day.

Zig Ziglar

“Blessed is he who has found his work, let him ask no other blessedness.”

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist and historian

“One of the biggest mistakes a person can make in life is to think they are working for someone else!”

Anon

The greatest idea in the world won’t work unless you do.

Hard work is usually nothing more than the accumulation of lots of easy work that should have been done and hasn’t.

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going to.”

Beverly Sills, opera singer

Be willing to do what you have to do and eventually you’ll be able to do what you want to do.

We the willing,

led by the unknown,

Are doing the impossible

for the ungrateful.

We have done so much

with so little for so long,

we are now qualified to do

anything with nothing.

“A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.”

attributed to Earl Wilson

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… and makes Jill a wealthy widow!”

Anon.