I caught a few moments recently of a pastor asking, “how do you make your living?”
If the answer is somehow related to your job, you’re doing it all wrong.
Oh yeah, amen to that. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, in all things, always.
It’s kind of tragic, but we in the West do tend to think of ourselves as “making a living” or worse, “earning a living.” The problem with this is that “life” cannot be made or earned. All in good humor, but if you are on the bottom rung of the economic ladder as I am, I would just sarcastically say, “you seriously call this living?” Nor is our “work,” really our “life,” as in you may well have a fabulous job, but the majority of us do not and if we are calling our employment “life,” well no wonder the US has such high rates of anti-depressant use.
Men are especially vulnerable to this deception because so much of their identity is often wrapped up in their ability to work and provide, so when someone loses their job, or can no longer work, they tend to feel as if they have just lost a part of their identity, perhaps their entire identity, perhaps “life” itself.
That is why our words matter, why what we name things in our own minds, matters. It’s the difference between losing your job and losing your “life.” I never forget, Adam was in charge of naming the things around him, and there’s a lot more too that job then we think.
Our identity is in Jesus Christ, our worth and value is in Christ, and that simply cannot be “earned.” Another problem with focusing too much on “earning a living” is that it detracts from the idea that God actually owns everything, that our work is really just service. The value is not in what we do or how much we get paid, but in Who we do it for.
My husband is one of those traditional men who values work and I have had dole this truth out to him gently over the years like water drips on stone. One of my favorite sayings is “the Lord will provide,” and I can rest in that promise, I can lean into it, but hubby is more prone to snap, “No He won’t, I will.” There’s a really fine there between trying to offer him some rest for his soul and to show him the mysterious nature of God, without erasing his wonderful ability to provide for everyone.
I really had to put my foot down the other day and stand firm in that truth.
It’s been tough the last few years, medical bills mostly, fines, fees, permits, all this government stuff crushing down on our heads and the harder we work, the more backwards we go. The other day I came home to more bills and notices of impending doom, what amounted to several thousand dollars we just haven’t got, including what is now more than 4 grand in Obamacare fines for not having insurance.
I just put my hands in the air and said, “Nope, I’m leaning into the Lord here. Got my wi/fi signal going on here in the palm of my hands and He will provide. I’m claiming it and I’m leaning into His promises.”
I. Will. Not.Let.My. Heart. Be. Troubled. God can fix anything.
Hubby watched me with great skepticism, but we soon got the news that President Trump had just signed the relief act for Obamacare fines. Four thousand dollars of our family’s stress gone with the stroke of a pen. And a few hours later another phone call, that six grand we’re billing you, that’s in error, just disregard that notice.
Inverted reality. One moment we were deeply in debt with no hope of redemption and the next moment we were free. Just like that.
That’s the miraculous, mysterious God I know, the God that can completely invert your reality for you, one who can take the hard, cold, unforgiving nature of financial reality and turn it on its darn head in a matter of hours, as if to say, so what do you think of your math now?
I think I like your version better Lord, always have and I always will.