Work & the Rest of Your Life
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat
Genesis 2:7-15 7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” -
Structure & Direction
God put Adam and Eve in the garden to keep and to work it. He put them there to work, but warned that while they could eat and enjoy the fruits of their labors, they could not eat of the tree of the knowledge of the good and evil. While there has been much debate about the nature of the tree, the point is that while they were directed to fruitfulness, flourishing and joy in the garden, there were clear boundaries. This created structures for fruitfulness and the enjoyment of Creation, while maintaining God as central to their life and worship. Adam & Eve were first called to trust and obey.
Primary Calling- Our first calling is to love God and respond to Him as He leads. It can be overwhelming to think that we are to be engaged in all of these aspects, but God is first simply calling us to care about what He cares about. Love God . Love Others.
Secondary Calling- This calling has to do with specifics of your life and how God has uniquely called and equipped you to specific needs and opportunities. He often leads you through cultivating abilities, burdens, passions and opportunities. These aspects are going to call for more time, energy, attention and sacrifice.
We are not scrooges nor stooges. A scrooge is one who is so serious that they dislike fun. Stooges are those who are dimwitted and life is only about fun. In Christ, we are able to enjoy the blessings of of God, while not waisting time on light living.
Work is too Important vs. Work isn't Important Enough. The person who has too high of a view of work will be tempted to find their identity, self worth and ultimate meaning in work. They may be prone to be a workaholic or be inordinately affected by their work performance or job status. The person with a low view of work can often be unmotivated and even lazy. They may feel that their work doesn't matter. Or they have a very pragmatic and materialist view of work. They only treat work as a means to a life style. These people often "live for the weekend" or are tempted toward materialism- justifying it because they feel they deserve it.
Work Life Balance vs. A Seamless Life Work-Life balance is a popular term and while the spirit of it may be aimed in the right direction, there are some inherit dangers. Work-Life balance seems to seek an equilibrium and balance between time and energy evenly distributed. In a fallen world that operates under the Providence of God, life often isn't that simple. Life will often bring dynamics that will acquire more attention, time and energy directed more so in one direction than others. A Seamless Life attempts to move through life as it is, yet as those whose whose whole life is being transformed by the Gospel. It is more concerned with rightly ordered affections and a life before and with God. It recognizes that "its the best of times and the worst of time's all of the time. " It is a life that is circumspect, ordered, intentional, planned, yet humbly trusting the Lord with the "next." It is a heart that wants to seek what is good, beautiful and true in all of life. Its a heart that most wants to please their Heavenly Father.
Abide: John 15 1-5
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Die: John 12:23-25
23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
1. Look at the chart. In which areas do you feel you are healthy? In which areas do you need to grow ?
2. There always going to be tension in life because life is made up so many aspects and these things are naturally going to create tension as they compete for time, energy or attention. Often the relation of all these things simply brings complexity and unclarity. What is the biggest point of tension in your life today? OR In what area of your life do you need clarity?
3. In light of the first two questions, why is it so important to be assured of your position in Christ?