In Ecclesiastes 9:10 Solomon wrote, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” To some people, work is just another four-letter word. But according to the Bible, work is a godly virtue that adds value to life. Our first picture of God is that of Him working (Genesis 1). We also know that God did the job with excellence. When the project of creation was complete, God looked at the work of His hands and concluded it was very good!
Since we were created in the image of God, we were created to work. Life works best when we have some worthy occupation. Of course, this doesn’t prohibit the American dream of retirement. It does say that even in retirement God has something constructive for us to accomplish. So remember the rule of Solomon and embrace the virtue of a job done well.
Now let’s compare Solomon’s statement with that of Jesus in Matthew 6:33. Actually, let’s combine them, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…BUT seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” The Greek word translated “seek” appears in the present tense & active voice.
- Present tense tells me seeking is an ongoing action
- Active voice tells me the subject (you/me) initiates the action
There are two traps many Christians fall into at this point. The first trap is confusing the calling of God (be it a career or full-time ministry) with our personal relationship with Him. God wants us to work hard and with excellence. A careless, lazy Christian is a poor witness. However, God does not want our careers to come first. Matthew 6:33 regulates Ecclesiastes 9:10.
The second trap is thinking that just saying God comes first is all that is required. I say God is first, but does my life say otherwise? Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” It isn’t just what I say; it’s what I do.
Obviously, God wants us to excel in our different fields of calling. He also wants us to understand that our careers will be met with greater success and our lives with deeper fulfillment when we put Jesus first always and in all things. Matthew 6:33 is the divine order of life. It’s the way life works.
Pastor Todd Weston