Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems Chapter 25 – The Blessing of Work

Serial Reading of Young People’s Problems

Chapter 25 – The Blessing of Work

“Some people have the impression that work is part of the curse which sin brought into the world. They imagine that if our first parents had not fallen into sin, that they would never have had anything to do, that they would have walked about forever among the trees of Paradise and by the rivers, having a good time. They suppose that they were doomed to work as part of the penalty of their sin. But this is a mistaken impression, which a careful reading of the story of Eden and the fall will quickly remove.”

I recall a statement made in a Sunday school class once, a comment that has lingered in my thoughts these many years: “TGIM, Thank Goodness It’s Monday.” Never heard it before? Neither had I, knowing it instead as TGIF.  But TGIM looks at work differently, as both a duty and a blessing, rather than as something to escape.

In this installment from J.R. Miller’s wisdom we see again the real problem—sin and the effects of sin on our view of the world. “No doubt the fall changed the character of work,” but “we must never forget that work was part of man’s lot, even in Paradise. Therefore work itself is not a curse—but a blessing.”

Miller has instructive words to teach us with comments like these: “Jesus sanctified labor, by working with his own hands…Paul [worked] at a common trade, …gloried in the fact that his own hands had ministered to his necessities.” He speaks at length about “the reproach of idleness.” Paul said, “If any will not work—neither let him eat!” In Scripture we find the command and exhortation that we should work quietly, and eat our own bread—bread earned with [our] own hands.

He quotes Henry Drummond: “The ideal perfect and divine life was not spent with a book—but with a hammer and a saw; …the shop is not the place for the growing of machines alone. They are the places for the growing of souls.” From my own experience there is much we can learn in the love, joy, satisfaction, patience, meekness and self-control gained in work and working well. This truth leads to a curious observation: “Work is one of the best means of grace.” How is that? Well, Miller explains, “Whatever helps in one’s growth and development of life and character, is a means of grace. Without work, one never can grow.” Think on that. Better yet, go and read his full comments on this point!

“We have no right to our daily bread.” “One cannot be a good Christian and be idle.”  “Prayer without work, is but one wing to the soul.” And he gives an apt example of what he means by each of these three statements, reminding us that “the kind of work we should do depends upon what we are divinely fitted to do;”  that “a large part of the blessing, is in the work itself”; that “it is better to find some task, than to sit with folded hands in unwholesome idleness.”

He closes with this: “Work builds up the character, and knits the sinews of manliness.”

“The young people are fortunate, who by the conditions of their early life, are required to engage in regular, uninterrupted, and even severe labor. Thus they are not only trained to self-dependence—but their abilities are developed, their character is formed into strength—prepared for happy, wholesome, useful living.”

Find the full text on Grace Gems at: http://gracegems.org/Miller/young_peoples_problems.htm

Chapter 26 – A Girl’s Questions

(to be continued)

— Joe LoGiudice, Principal