Billy Graham: You are Greater than your Work

A special message from Billy Graham as we prepare for the national observance of Labor Day:

Work is a part of God’s plan for our lives. Work is not something we do just to put food on the table; it is one of the major ways God has given us to bring glory to Him. The writer of Ecclesiastes declared, “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God” (2:24). Paul said, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

For most of his life Jesus worked with his hands. “Isn’t this the carpenter?” some of His enemies sneered, assuming (incorrectly) that an ordinary occupation such as carpentry surely disqualified Him from being the Messiah (Mark 6:3). The Apostle Paul likewise worked with his hands, often earning his living as a tentmaker during his travels (Acts 18:3). In God’s eyes every legitimate work has dignity and importance, which means we should do our work with pride and diligence and integrity.

But our work was never meant to become the center of our lives. That place belongs only to God, and when we allow our work to dominate and control us, then it has become an idol to us—and that is wrong. Someone who brags about working seventy or eighty hours (or more) a week probably thinks he is the master of his job—but in reality he has become its slave. In addition, because his life is so wrapped up in work, his identity or sense of self-worth—that is, his understanding of his value or significance as a person—often comes to depend on his ability to work. Unfortunately our materialistic society only reinforces this view. But God says you are greater than your work, and your work is only a part of His plan for you.

*Excerpt from the book Nearing Home by Billy Graham.

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  1. MaryMargaret Quinn says:

    I think this is so right. We do have our jobs and I thank God everyday for mine which is nothing very important but allows me to have extra things and most importantly to give back to God for all His blessings to me. After all, everything I have comes from Him. Sometimes we get irked about work. When this happens I just say, and out loud, ” I am doing this as if I were doing it unto the Lord. That really helps me. I don’t want to seem ungrateful to Him because He provides this for me. Yes, we can get caught up in our work and be obsessed with it. Trying to crawl higher in the ranks. Reaching for more material things. This is so wrong. I don’t envy anyone like that. I know plenty. I am very comfortable with ALL I need and so much more and I give ALL the glory to God from “whom ALL blessings flow.” I want God first and then everything else will come. Most importantly, His Peace !

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