“Money, Work and Debt”
Text: Deuteronomy 28:12-14
Prayer: O God, our creator and lover of our souls, create in us pure hearts that are open to your movement in our lives, willing hearts to receive all that you have for us to learn, and committed hearts to follow any truth we receive from these words. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I. Work. It’s a loaded term, if ever there was one. Saying that something is a lot of work can be an excuse to not do it. It can be a complaint or a way of emphasizing the difficulty of a task.
For many people work is a problem. Their daily job is a highly unsatisfactory experience. Years ago a best‑selling, non‑fiction book was among the top ten on the market. It carried the simple title, “Working.” It was written by a man with the highly unlikely name of Studs Terkel. Terkel is a master of listening to what other people have to say about common, human concerns.
He works with a tape recorder, and the results are exciting, and authentic. In his book, Working, Terkel had us listening to a cross section of Americans talking about their jobs C about their daily work. The list of career people includes cab drivers, telephone operators, mechanics, press agents, bar pianists, stone cutters, house wives, priests, dentists, librarians, barbers, and about ninety others.
One of the significant impressions the book left with me was that a size-able number of folks find their daily work to be a negative experience. It wasn’t the “work” of work that made jobs a drag for most people, though. Physical labor was accepted and bearable. Mental effort, too, was something most could stand, if that’s the kind of work their jobs called for. Even a busy‑busy schedule could easily be endured by most of the people. It was rather an over‑all viewpoint, a personal outlook toward the whole syndrome and cycle of working that got a lot of people down.
That’s the way it can be for all of us. Some people, for instance, use their job as a measure of their own self‑worth. They are dissatisfied with their job because it doesn’t say much about them as a person. They should be higher up on the ladder by this time, they feel. They can’t be worth much or they would be more successful at this point than they are.
And then there is the case that we sometimes view our work as nothing more than a necessary evil. We have to work to make bucks. In our scheme of things we aren’t living for anything or anyone else, so our work, too, becomes a drag. We work to make money. We make money to have a powerful resource for purchasing commodities and services for our self and our family. But our overriding aim is often little more than selfish personal comfort and pleasure, perhaps even having enough money to shield our self from all the world’s challenges and problems.
If you are or were a stay at home parent, I hope your family appreciates you! Studies show that if something happened to you, the other parent would have to pay $ 113,000 to cover everything you were doing. You deserve a raise! That kind of contribution is significant.
It is exactly as we read in Deuteronomy 28 at the beginning of the chapter. You will be the head, not the tail, if you pay attention to the commands the Lord your God give you and carefully follow them. We are to turn neither to the right nor the left but to follow God’s priorities in all that we do.
Faithfulness to live according to God’s provisions. Faithfulness to work, not debt. Faithfulness to use our time, our talents, our resources to live productive, fruitful lives that make a difference in the little corner of the world we live. Amen.
Prayer: O Lord, help us to learn from the teachings your give that we may have hearts of wisdom and lives of integrity, productive work and service. Help us to be a blessing in this world you so love but what we are able to do with the resources you give to us. And for your abundance, we thank you in the name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.