For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. Ecclesiastes 2:21
Read: Ecclesiastes 2:17-23
Listen: Ecclesiastes 2
In making a name for himself, Solomon built an empire unlike any other before him. When he wrote this passage, he couldn’t have known his empire would be fractured and split shortly after his death. But he knew that work was only so valuable. Everything he built would be passed on to another. As valuable as it is, even work couldn’t give his life meaning.
We still struggle with the same thing even thousands of years later. Many of us work hard to build our business, learn our craft and see our department thrive. We think our position or accomplishments will give us meaning. Whatever work you do—parenting, carpentry, production, health care or technology support—it is valuable. Through your work you get to serve, provide things and help others’ lives be more enjoyable. At the same time, we must remember that our work does not define us nor does it give our lives meaning.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Grab your journal. Draw a straight line down the middle of the page and write at the top of one column, “What good comes from the work I do?” On the top of the other column write, “What is dangerous about looking for ultimate fulfillment out of my work?” Then spend a few minutes and write down as many things you can think of that fit in each category. Then thank God for the good you are doing and ask him for help so that you don’t place ultimate meaning in your work.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.