Celebrating 80 Years Pt.2: The Dignity of Work
Celebrating 80 Years of Briercrest
Check back monthly to enjoy a six part series of devotional excerpts from Briercrest founding President Dr. Henry Hildebrand's book "Our Gracious God and Loving Heavenly Father: Book 4". If you would like a free copy of this book please contact our Alumni Engagement Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18
“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Genesis 2:15
God is a labourer. He worked six days when He created the world and then rested on the seventh: “Thus the heaven and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:1-2). Jesus was known as “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:55). In John 5:17, our Lord said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” In like manner, the New Testament teaches us to exemplify a strong work ethic: “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘if a man will not work, he shall not eat’” (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
We are instructed to work in order to live, and we are taught to work to give: “He who has been stealing, must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need” (Ephesians 4:28). Christians should be the last to eat the bread of idleness.
In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too;
For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
There are those in our society who cannot support themselves – children, the infirm, and the aged. For such, our support as Christians should be in the forefront. We must earnestly pray for such needy people. But our prayers should be augmented by alms. Our Daily Bread (March 25, 1978) recorded a practical example:
A company of Christians once gathered to pray for a family that had suffered a severe financial setback and was in desperate need. While one of the men was offering a fervent petition on their behalf, a loud knock was heard at the door. The visitor proved to be a sturdy young son of one of the local farmers.
“Well, Pa says he can’t join you at this time, but he asked me to bring his prayers in a wagon.” “What do you mean?” asked the leader of the group. “If you’ll come out and help me bring in what he wanted me to deliver, you’ll soon understand,” replied the teenager. When they reached the wagon, they saw that Pa’s prayers consisted of potatoes, flour, beef, oatmeal, turnips, apples, jars of jelly and fruit, and a bundle of clothing. With new understanding in their hearts, the others decided to take the hint and do likewise. Each pledged a generous amount from his own abundant supplies and the meeting quickly adjourned on a note of praise.
Raymond Edman, in a Wheaton chapel, stated, “Our craftsmanship and dependability will often speak more eloquently for the Lord than testimonies and tracts. The world recognizes instinctively any inconsistency between a Christian witness and careless workmanship.”
Let us honour the Lord in our workmanship.