Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Lord's work

About this time of year my husband and I get our Social Security statements which lay out the income we have made every year we have worked. It is quite encouraging to see my husband's income edge up a little each year, but when you look at mine, all you see is "0".

As I took at quick look at it yesterday, seeing the 10 zeros lined up in a row, it caught me for a minute. Now, I have embraced the anti-feminism movement, but a little twinge inside me reacted to the numbers, for I began to think to myself, I have been working! What do they know?!

Not letting a little piece of paper from the Social Security department dictate my feelings, I immediately thought of this verse:

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"~Matthew 25: 38-40

Doing this work for my children--the least of these--is doing it for the Lord.

This, of course, can spill into all areas of our lives.

In John Piper's book Don't Waste Your Life, he has 6 ways to work for God from 8 to 5. While he is speaking from a work point of view, I think as stay at home wives and mothers, it would do us good to adapt these principles:

1. We can make much of God in our secular job through the fellowship that we enjoy with him throughout the day in all our work.
2. We make much of Christ in our secular work by the joyful, trusting, God-exalting design of our creativity and industry.
3. We make much of Christ in our secular work when it confirms and enhances the portrait of Christ's glory that people hear in the spoken Gospel.
4. We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning enough money to keep us from depending on others, while focusing on the helpfulness of our work rather than financial rewards.
5. We make much of Christ in our secular work by earning money with the desire to use our money to make others glad in God.
6. We make much of Christ in our secular work by treating the web of relationships it creates as a gift of God to be loved by sharing the Gospel and by practical deeds of help.

For more practical ideas within these statements, I encourage you to read his book.

How are we really working for all areas of our lives? Though our monetary and spiritual returns may be "0", we should keep working, as unto the Lord.


bluemountainmama said...

that reminds me of a show i watched the other day, where they surveyed people to see how much a mom shoud get paid if there was pay. a lot said high numbers like $250,000 a year b/c it is a 24/7 job, including weekends. :) but a few only said $20,000 or $25,000.... those answers probably didn't come from moms. :)

i used to remind myself of that verse when i worked at the children's home and school and was living below the poverty line. but i loved what i did and knew i was making a difference, which is what motherhood is about, too. the rewards are and pay come in other forms.....

Jenny said...

Great post! Those social security statements always make me a little ill. I know I need to just put my trust in God an know I am doing the right thing but for some reason I get scared about my future when I see those 0's lined up .

Amy Jane said...

If you like books about bringing holiness to everyday living I'd recomend The Angels and the Ants, by Peter Kreeft.

While he's Catholic and I'm not, much of what he says is applicable to me.

I once wrote a post based on his chapter How to Become a Saint While Changing Diapers, mostly because I liked to title so much.

Elise said...

Yes, Andrea, so good.
My heart is encouraged, and I am challenged at the same time! Can only be a good thing!