Manual Work

Week beginning: 6th August, 2017 | By Andrew Myers | St Albans

"and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody."

1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (NIV)

Those of us fortunate enough to be able to get to the Essential Truths seminar on 15th June heard His Hon Judge David Turner QC set out the Christian view of ambition. That view is radical and different, as this verse, which featured in that talk, makes clear. Our ambition is not to seek what will inevitably fade one day, but instead to live calmly, quietly, as we walk with God in our daily lives.

Paul told the church in Thessalonica to "work with [their] hands". That doesn't mean that Christian lawyers must type their letters, as opposed to dictating them. After all, both Jeremiah (Jer. 36:4) and Paul (Rom. 16:22, 2 Thess. 3:17) dictated. What it does mean is that Christians should not be afraid of the unglamorous, lowly, or menial work. For that is how "working with one's hands" would have been understood in a Greek, 1st century port.

All honest work - bundle checking as well as dreaming up that killer legal point that wins the case - is dignified because God made us to be workers like him. So no work is beneath us. And all work, if done to please God, can result in a daily life that will not only earn respect but which will commend the gospel of Christ - whose unglamorous work for his Father on the cross achieved more than anyone could have imagined.

Prayer points:

1.  Praise God for Christ's lowliness in working for our salvation.

2.  Pray for a Christian ambition at work today especially for the lowly bits.

3.  Pray that our work will prompt both the respect and gospel interest of those around us.