We’ll Work ‘Til Jesus Comes, And Then Some

Published 12:18 pm Saturday, September 23, 2023

By Michael J. Brooks

Every generation has slang or shorthand spoken to members of that generation. It’s been a while since anyone said, “Hey bro, that’s groovy. Far out!” I’m not really sure we boomers said this anyway, though we were accused of it.

Our language is constantly changing with new words and new phrases and new definitions. In the 60s we “surfed” with the Beach Boys, whereas today we “surf” on the internet. In those days we didn’t talk about RAM and megabytes and storing things “in the cloud.”

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I learned some new phrases lately from radio broadcaster Kim Komando. She talked about “quiet quitting” which means not doing one’s best on the job. According to a Gallup survey, only about one-quarter of the U.S. workforce is actively engaged in working hard every day. Hard work built our country and produced American exceptionalism, so it’s sad to read these projections, if true.

The broadcaster shared another term popularized on social media: “lazy girl job.” In the days of remote work, the phrase means little or no supervision, no schedule and no overtime. Ms. Komando suggested we shouldn’t be upset with lazy people since “they didn’t do anything!”

Scripture teaches labor is a gift from God. In the book of Genesis God said “it was good” a number of times but said “not good” a time or two as well. One “not good” was that it wasn’t good for man to be alone, so he designed a mate to compliment him.

But God also said it wasn’t good for man to be idle. Thus, he made Adam the first gardener whose responsibility was to take care of Eden. The responsibility to work is outlined in chapter two, before chapter three when work took on added drudgery.

And scripture implies that work is eternal. Isaiah described the “new Jerusalem” including the building of houses, agriculture and the drudgery or vanity of Genesis 3 removed.

Isaiah’s most well-known word about eternity is of warriors who beat swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 59,2). Whereas the primary meaning of this prophecy is world peace, it’s also true that both plowshares and pruning hooks are agricultural tools.

Scripture exhorts Christians to look beyond human supervisors and recognize that we work to please God. Twice in Colossians 3 the Apostle Paul wrote that we “serve the Lord Christ” in whatever we do; thus, we bring honor to him in our work. As Ted Key said, we strive to “autograph our work with excellence.”

Being good employees means that we earn the right to tell others about the hope we have in Christ and how he motivates us with a new ethic in work and character.

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Ala. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.