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Moving Forward in the Right Direction

September 6, 2018

Several people have asked me about the two Bible passages I cited here on Tuesday of this week, The Day After Labor Day. Thank y’all; greatly appreciate you and your questions!

The primary issue revolves around their seeming contradiction of one another —

Don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Boss, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate one you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work. (St. Paul, Colossians 3:23-25) 

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30)

— Stew Friedman, a professor at the Wharton School of Business, writes of what he calls “Work/Life Balance.” He says it’s “a misguided metaphor for grasping the reality between work and the rest of life.”

He points out that the “image of the scale forces you think in terms of trade-offs instead of the possibilities for harmony.” I find that a helpful reminder when it comes to our faith in Christ.

Sometimes you and I need to be reminded to “lose our lazies,” as an elderly parishoners told me long ago. I know that now and then I need to be admonished to Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Boss, for God. After all, being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.

Boom.

But other times you and I need to Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I need to regularly be reminded that Christ Jesus won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on (us). He invites us to keep company with (Himself) and promises to help us learn to live freely and lightly in the process.

Ahhhhhh.

This third day after Labor Day and beyond, let’s be aware that we walk between those two biblical paragraphs.

Sometimes we bounce from one to the other like they were guardrails.

May they keep us moving forward in the right direction and enjoying what Friedman calls “the possibilities for harmony.”

 

 

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