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Your Labor Of Love

as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope
1 Thessalonians 1:3 

I get tired of people questioning the motives of businesspeople. Those who do so assume that the only thing on the mind of a businessperson is the bottom line. While it is true that businesses need profits to be viable, this critique of businesspeople is ill-informed; it is also not Biblical, because “love expects the best.” Paul, on the other hand, thanks God for the Thessalonians’ “work of faith,” and acknowledges that the motive for doing that work was love… your “labor of love.” You know that work is tough. Scripture doesn’t present just a portion of the picture to us: there are three parts to this equation—work, labor, and patience. You may have determined to work by faith, surrendering your business or career to God, and daily drawing on him for help. The next thing that happens is kopos which is defined as:

  1. a beating 
  2. a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow 
  3. labor 
    1. trouble 
      1. to cause one trouble, make work for him 
    2. intense labor united with trouble and toil 

This is intense labor united with trouble and toil. Yes, I know Jesus came to redeem our work from the curse, and I know that once you discover the true purpose of business you are free to work with joy and faith. But this business of taking the marketplace back, reclaiming business and other labor for godly purposes, is hard work. And it is work that must be motivated by love, or else we will not stay the course.

This is not why all people work: some work to glorify God, some because they love what they do, some to provide, but many work just to survive. Even if the motivation of many marketplace workers is good, we still need to rethink the primary logic with which we approach our work. Is it really honor God first, find out what he cares about second, then stack up our gifts and assets against his passions? Or are we stuck in the old mold of asking Him to bless what we have embarked on? 

Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father.

 

Reflections

  • Are you cognizant of your labor being motivated by love on a daily basis?
  • Do you feel God’s love—his smile—as you do your daily work?

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