Sunday, May 15, 2011

Go Big or Go Home


It really ticks me off when people don't care about their quality of work, and when they slack off on the job. They are being *paid* to work, and so, at minimum, should do the job that they so happily cash the cheques for. Otherwise, it isn't a fair exchange, and they are defrauding their employers and violating the work-for-pay contract.

That said, if the workers don't know Jesus, I don't hold them to any particular expectation, and reserve judgment. After all, they don't have the Holy Spirit to empower them to change, to take pleasure in their toil, and to give them a heart of service. If they do not profess to following Christ, the principles and precepts of Scripture are meaningless to them.

However, Christians are a different story. The Bible clearly teaches that, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." (Col. 3:23-24).

If a person claims to know and love Jesus, then there is an inherent duty to obey this teaching, because obedience is an expression of love and of that faith relationship. Part of obedience is working hard, and doing one's best, remembering that the boss isn't some person in an office, but God Almighty. This applies not only to ministry, but to life in general, including one's profession or job.

So yeah, I am judging other believers, and I ask that they hold me to this same standard, because it's not *my* standard, it's God's, and we're all called to it if we know Him.

Which brings me to my initial point: it really really ticks me off when Christians don't care about their quality of work, and slack off on the job. I am so annoyed with fellow believers who call it in at work, and don't bother to do their best every day of the week. I don't want to hear people use excuse after excuse to justify their piss-poor work ethic; your choice is really quite simple - go big or go home.

Either do it right and do your best, or else find another calling in life where you actually give two cents, because a Christian who works like someone who doesn't know Jesus brings no glory to His name. If you want to be a witness to the One you serve, then let your work stand on its own. Let every person who sees you remark that you go above and beyond, and let there be no question about your work quality or your integrity.

People often say that I'm a workaholic, and maybe I am a little bit of a perfectionist. But then again, I serve a perfect Savior and despite my own fallibility, I want to give Him my best every day. I want to be sure that every minute that I am given with my students (which is my job, and for which I am paid) is used responsibly, and to the best of my ability, because I will have to give an account one day for the hours that God has entrusted them to me. I do not take that responsibility lightly, for I know full well that those who teach will be judged ever more strictly (James 3:1).

One who is slack in his work
is brother to one who destroys. (Prov. 18:9)

So here's the takeaway: go big or go home. But remember, your work tells everyone a whole lot about you, and about who you serve. What's your work saying about you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My "Political" Party


After reflecting on the recent election, I have finally figured out what party I belong to, and why I couldn't stand behind any of the leaders, really. It's because my heart, and my affiliations, lie elsewhere.

I'm a Monotheistic monarchist - I believe in the King of Kings through the Prince of Peace.

I am a member but I wasn't elected - my seat is *in* the elect, since I was personally chosen and appointed by my Leader.

My party is not federal, provincial, or civic - it's eternal.

My platform can be found in detail in the Word of God.

Like Obama, my party believes in change - but it's from the inside, out.

My campaign's goal is to make my Leader known, and my campaign was paid for in blood.

My party will not form a coalition with anyone - my Leader is the only Way.

And although my Leader only has one seat, it is the one before which every knee will one day bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Dirty Mouths and Dirty Hearts


Today, I shared with my class the teachings of Jesus from Matthew 15:1-10. Sometimes I wonder if more people need to be reminded that it is what comes out of a person (and his/her wicked heart) that makes him/her unclean. Actions and words reflect heart conditions.

This teaching seems so timely when I consider what I have been witnessing on Facebook over the past couple of days. Professing "Christians" who have rejoiced over the killing of a man, or those who have engaged in character assassinations of political candidates who they don't particularly like - these are not the actions befitting one who claims to know Jesus Christ. Somehow, I think that if Jesus Himself were sitting beside these individuals as they readied their status updates, they would probably think twice about the things that they've written.

Don't get me wrong - I am glad that there is closure for so many families who have lost loved ones during the 9/11 attack, and I am thankful that a very dangerous individual is no longer a threat to our shores. However, celebrating the brutal death of anyone, and taking delight in it, elevates the importance of man's justice and diminishes the greatness of God's justice.
"Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice, lest the Lord see it, and be displeased." (Prov. 24:17)
God is a holy God and a just God, and His judgment is perfect; He is fit to judge the living and the dead. All of us, however, are unrighteous and sinful, and only justified ourselves by the grace of a loving Father. Man's justice is therefore incomplete at best, and imperfect. There is no joy to be had in meting out a human "judgment" that is neither complete nor righteous.

**And as I consider the individuals who have launched gloating and/or cruel, personal attacks on the leaders of our nation's political parties (the one who won as well as the others who didn't), I wonder where the love that Jesus commands us to have for our neighbours has gone. The malicious words that come out do much to reveal the nature of the speaker's heart, and it is this that makes the person unclean in the eyes of God. Though everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, when I observe the vitriol that drips from some of the comments made on Facebook regarding a political leader, I cannot help but wonder how this glorifies God or obeys His greatest commandments.

Are we all guilty of having dirty mouths and unclean hearts? Absolutely. There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). But I think it is time we all checked our hearts, and examined our words and thoughts. If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, we are responsible for representing Him in this world. By His grace, may we do so with integrity and love, rather than allow our filth to further contaminate an already-polluted world.

** Whoa, you say. Where is all of this coming from, Mrs L? Besides the many character-assassinating remarks made by some very politically-charged "Christians" that I knew on Facebook, I had the misfortune of having to witness a barrage of very hateful remarks targeted at one specific political leader who did not win the election. I was forced to unfriend this individual after I challenged them on their very vengeful remarks, only to be verbally attacked by this person and their relative, neither of whom showed the slightest remorse for their nasty comments but offered a thousand reasons as to why they were somehow justified in their malicious speech toward this political leader. Free speech? Yes. But let's either be fair and godly, or stop saying that you're a Christian. As Emerson once said, "What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." Their actions all but nullified their claims of being Christians.