When I was in middle school, I started a lawn-mowing service in the neighborhood. I secured three large lawns to mow at fifteen dollars per lawn. Boy, was I in the money! Then with the help of my dad, I scored the big one. My dad’s friend was going out of town for six weeks, and he hired me to mow his lawn once a week for the time he would be gone. He even paid me ninety dollars in advance. Instead of using my dad’s mower, I decided I needed to buy one of my own, so I took half of that money and bought a new lawn mower. I was convinced that I was well on my way to business success.
Although I didn’t actually forget my arrangement with this man, I chose to do other things and got lazy in my responsibility. I mowed the lawn the first week but didn’t mow it again until the sixth week—right before he was to return home. Since he was out of town, I thought he wouldn’t know that I didn’t fulfill my commitment. I thought I could hide the fact by raking the yard after the last mowing and then hiding the cuttings. When he came home, I was sure my plan had worked, but my dad had other ideas. He made me give the man back all ninety dollars because I didn’t fulfill the agreement I had made with him.
My dad taught me a hard, yet valuable, lesson that day. Being lazy or cutting corners did not make me a valuable employee, and I wasn’t worthy of my hire, or pay. I have had many job responsibilities since that time, and I have learned that God’s Word is the true standard for daily living. Not only does God’s Word have principles to apply that help us spiritually, the Word also has principles that we can apply in our workplaces. We will consider seven Biblical principles we can apply in our occupations and professions to be a glory to God and thus a laborer “worthy of his hire.”
God’s desire for each of us is that we are laborers, or workers, worthy of our hire. This truth is clearly stated in Luke 10 where Jesus Christ sent out the seventy disciples to cities and places he himself would come. He told them that the harvest truly was great, but the laborers were few. As workers in the harvest, they were to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He also gave them clear instructions on how to conduct themselves.
And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire….
The disciples were exhorted by Jesus to accept the blessings of housing, food, beverage, and other such necessities of life given to them from those they stayed with. As laborers, they were worthy of their hire. The disciples labored, and their need was met abundantly.
This truth is again stated in I Timothy. The Apostle Paul, when quoting from Deuteronomy, used the ox as an example.
I Timothy 5:18:
For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
Treading out the corn refers to the threshing process in which oxen trampled grain to separate the kernel from the chaff. Animals were generally muzzled in the East. To muzzle an ox would prevent it from eating the grain. However, the Word says not to muzzle the ox. The ox was to be allowed to reach down and eat as it threshed the corn. Even the ox is worthy of his reward for a job well done. The laborer is worthy of his reward because of the labor or work he performs. Likewise in our occupations and professions, we are rewarded, paid, for the labor that we perform.
As laborers worthy of our hire, we can bring glory to God. In Matthew 5, Jesus told his disciples that they were the light of the world and to let their light so shine that men could see their good works and give glory to their Father in heaven. Let’s look at Matthew 5:16 and consider some of the words in this verse.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
“Light” is the light of God in us. “Shine” means to be bright or radiant. “Good” means beautiful, pleasing, morally excellent, and worthy of recognition. “Works” are the result or object of employment, or that which is accomplished by labor. God has given us His powerful gift of holy spirit within and His Word to live by. We are to let the light of God in us be bright or radiant so others can see how beautiful, pleasing, and worthy of recognition the result of our labor is. This brightness and radiance glorifies God, giving honor and praise to Him….
This is an excerpt from the November/December 2011 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2011 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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