Your Faith & the Workplace (Chapter 5: Part 1)

Chapter 5 of the Faith Based Entrepreneur book talks about worshipping work. In today's world, it can be so easy to put so much of your time, effort, and energy into your work and begin to worship it without even noticing. This chapter is going to be split up over the next couple months.

[If you missed the first four chapters, catch up on those here.]

Areas in life that will eventually disappoint us

It's not a bad thing to work hard to strive to be successful. The problem arises when your business/work become the most important thing in your life. Over the next several weeks, we're going to be looking at Ecclesiastes and discussing four areas of life that disappoint us regardless of how successful we are.

Before jumping in, it's important to understand that in Ecclesiastes, Solomon explained how life often felt like hevel -- a Hebrew word that means "vapor" or "smoke." On paper, Solomon seemed to have it all -- wealth, wisdom, power, accomplishments; however, these things couldn't fulfill him.

"Pleasure ultimately disappoints" is the first thing we're going to look at. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 says, "And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun."

Solomon had so much, yet he still felt empty. The same can happen to you, which is why it's so important to make sure you aren't living your life for these worldly pleasures.

We're going to continue to look at Ecclesiastes and identify different areas in our life that disappoint us regardless of how successful we are. Last week it was "pleasure ultimately disappoints." This week it's "even the best business wisdom sometimes fails."

Check out Ecclesiastes 9:11, "Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all."

It can be hard when you do everything right and things just don't work out. If work is your highest priority, when things don't work out there, your life can feel like it's crumbling. When you make God the priority in your life, you understand when things don't work out how you had planned that His wisdom and plan are better than anything we could come up with.

If you've felt like your life crumbles every time something doesn't work out, it's time to check your priorities and make sure you're not worshipping your work.

This week we're looking at Ecclesiastes 8:14: "There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity."

Sometimes on this earth, good goes unrewarded and evil goes unpunished. We live in an imperfect world; therefore, sometimes the worldly justice systems fail us. If you do good works in your job and throughout your life, you might not always be rewarded for it. Don't let that get you down though because we have an amazing eternity promised if we follow God!

Ecclesiastes 2:18-19 says: “18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.”

Over the last month we’ve been sharing different areas in life that fail us here on earth. The first three were: pleasure ultimately disappoints, even the best business wisdom sometimes fails, and worldly justice systems eventually fail us. Today, we’re focused on “the fruit of our labor crumbles.”

It takes a lot of work to build something fruitful. For example, building a successful business isn’t something that’s done in a day. However, something so little can undo all of that work. While things are broken here on earth, we can still have hope and joy in our Savior, Jesus and looking toward eternity with Him! Let’s keep a Kingdom focus as we go through work and make sure we don’t worship our work.

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West Point, VA
Courtney is SEM's Marketing Manager. She joined SEM full-time in 2016. Outside of SEM, Courtney enjoys hiking with her golden retriever, Mya and volunteering at LifePointe Christian Church.