Today, we are discussing 3 negative thought processes about work.
I have a problem that I know a lot of other people suffer from. In this post I want to be completely transparent with something that I’ve struggled with since I was a teenager – work. Now it’s not what you might think. It’s not that I don’t want to work. It’s actually the opposite problem.
I love to work.
At first glance, you might ask yourself, “Well what’s wrong with that?”
The truth is that there’s nothing wrong with working as long as two things are true:
- You have a job and your job doesn’t have you.
- Your primary focus is seeking God.
I have seen many men (and women) around me get caught up in the death cycle of a job. They wake up early and go to bed late and focus 100% of their effort to earn money.
We’ve left our first love – telling people of Jesus.
Today, I sat down to study the Bible and I came across Psalms 127 and 128. These two chapters directly combat the thought process that many people, especially Americans, face daily.
Disclaimer: We are required to work.
I feel like for a blog post like this I need to first tell you what I’m NOT saying.
The Bible specifically tells us that if we aren’t willing to work we shouldn’t eat.
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.2 Thessalonians 3:10 KJV
The Bible also tells us that those who don’t provide for their families are worse than unbelievers!
8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.1 Timothy 5:8 KJV
These two scriptures provide the foundation for everything that I AM saying in this blog post. So again don’t hear what I’m not saying. We do have to work.
3 Negative Thought Processes about Work
Everything that we do in life starts with a thought. That means to see how we can change, we need to start with how we are thinking right now.
So let’s look at some of these thought processes that plague us. Really we’ll see that they are lies that are so deeply ingrained in us that many of us wouldn’t know how to live life without them.
#1 I can design my ideal life
The thought process being pushed today in school and everywhere else you look is that you can design your ideal life.
They say, “Find what you like to do and do a lot of it.”
And while this isn’t bad advice we have to remember that we serve someone greater than yourself.
If our thought process is always, “how can I manipulate my situation to get what I want?” This is a strong indication that we aren’t working for the Lord.
Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.Psalm 127:1 KJV
Here are some examples:
- If I applied for this job, they pay XX more and that will let me purchase XX which we could use for vacations.
- If I start this business, I could sell XXX and that would let me work less and allow me to spend more time with my kids.
- I could move to XX and get a new job at XX. That would pay more and with less hours.
All these are good examples of us building the house and laboring in vain.
All these ideas might very well make a lot of sense, but are they God’s desire for your life?
If you haven’t stopped to ask what God thinks about your plans, this is a strong indication you’re thinking this way.
Correcting this thought process: Strive to Enter Rest
Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.Psalm 128:1-2 KJV
Our focus is the key difference between a correct and incorrect thought process. Our focus should be to do the things that the Lord wants us to do.
Think about your relationship with your wife.
You wouldn’t think of making major decisions without first consulting her. The same is the case with the Lord.
#2 I JUST HAVE TO WORK HARDER
This man’s thought process is “If I wake up before everyone else and go to bed after everyone else and work as hard as I can then I can reach my goals.”
I have news for you. The Bible tells us that this kind of thought process will leave us feeling empty.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.Psalms 127:2 KJV
If you’re losing sleep at night worrying, thinking or working to simply make ends meet, this is a strong indication that you aren’t working the way that God wants you to work.
Correcting this though process: Our Work is Vanity because of the Curse
17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;Genesis 3:17 KJV
All the work that we think up in our brains to do is by default vanity because of the curse. That’s what psalms 127:2 is saying. When we try to work from our own ability, we are operating under the Curse of the Law.
Remember Christ became a curse on the cross to redeem us from the curse of the law, but we have to choose which path we take.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:Galatians 3:13 KJV
We now have a choice.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.Romans 8:5 KJV
If you think about working from your flesh, based upon everything YOU can do, you are going to get the result which is the curse of the Law.
I hope this makes sense, because it changed my life.
I own my own business. We build websites and do other misc. IT work.
At the beginning of this year, God spoke to me and told me to go to Rhema which is a Bible college here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
At first I wanted to argue. My thoughts went something like this.
God don’t you know what’s happening? We just had one of our largest clients sell their business and we aren’t going with them! I can’t give up half of my day to Bible school! I am having to work so hard right now to pay the bills.
These are the kinds of thoughts going through my head.
Don’t you know that didn’t change God’s mind.
See I was focused on walking in my flesh to provide for my needs.
My idea was, “How can I think through, work harder and accomplish my financial goals.”
I wasn’t asking God what HE thought.
Mostly because I knew what God thought and I didn’t think it was a good idea. Ever been there?
Fast forward now 6 months later and my needs are met, I’m going to school, working half the amount and making more money than before. Why? I started minding the things of my spirit instead of the flesh.
#3 Children? I cannot afford to have children.
I’ll just start this section by saying, I’m not married and I don’t have children, but if I was, I can imagine this is the thought process.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.Psalms 127:3-5 KJV
These verses answer an already established thought process, “I have to work as hard as possible to provide for my family.” If that’s your thought process, the idea of children looks like a burden.
- You’re telling yourself as your wife is asking you for children, “But don’t you know how much MORE I’m going to have to work? Doesn’t she understand I’m already working as hard as I can!”
If you have a bunch of children right now who aren’t behaving, you might even be a little bitter right now.
- “Don’t they know how hard I work to put food on the table for them!”
These are the thoughts you think but maybe don’t ever say.
- They throw away the food you purchase them and your thought is, “That took me XX hours of work to buy you that!”
I might not have kids myself, but those thoughts come natural to all men.
These verses are addressing those exact thoughts.
God is telling us that we have to change the way we think about children. They aren’t a burden but a blessing!
If your children aren’t must of a blessing to you right now, ask yourself how you’ve trained them. Are they trained in the fear of the Lord? If you aren’t seeking after Jesus with 100% of your life, then chances are they’re suffering too.
There’s good news though! You can make the change.
Wrapping Up: 3 Negative Thought Processes about Work
Psalms 127 and 128 give us the two options of how we can work.
Option 1 (Psalm 127): Flesh
- We can work after our flesh
- We can eat the bread of sorrow (the curse of the law) and work at a job for the rest of our life slaving away to the world’s system.
- We can get little sleep, constantly think about how to fight against poverty and lack and think of our family as a burden to provide for
Option 2 (Psalm 128): Spirit
- We can work to seek the Lord
- We can work for God doing as he directs us in every direction.
- We can get sleep, have peace and rest and a family who is full of joy.
- We can have a wife and children who are successful because we seek the Lord first.
- We can live to see our grandkids.
The choice is ours, but I would caution you with the same words that Hebrews give all believers.
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late.
10 For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own.Hebrews 4:1, 10 AMP
It’s up to us to cease our own works and labor after the spirit of God on the inside of us.
- Step 3: Enter into Rest and Be Encouraged!
- Entering into Rest | Ceasing from your Own Works
- Psalms 127 and 128
The topics discussed in this blog post are heavily related to entering into rest. We are called to cease from our own works and do what the Lord wants us to do only. That is the only way to not labor in vain.
Have you ever said, “Jesus come into my heart?”
If you’ve never said, “Jesus come into my heart” you have no idea what we’re talking about. There’s a peace that waits for those who will choose to live their life for something greater than themself.
Following after Jesus is as simple as saying, “Jesus you’re welcome in my life.”