Bearing good fruit
A Jewish proverb says that if you don’t teach your child a trade, you’re teaching him or her to steal.
In any country with high unemployment there are many thieves. People have to eat and if they do not have jobs to earn money to buy food, they will make wrong plans to fill their tummies.
14Our people have to learn to be diligent in their work so that all necessities are met (especially among the needy) and they don’t end up with nothing to show for their lives.
Each of us has the responsibility to make sure we have a job. But the responsibility doesn’t stop there. As children of God we need to show the world how to do our work well. Lately, I’ve come up against the word excellence again.
It must have been because I was so disappointed with the guys who had to repair the paving on our driveway. They spent a week on a job that should’ve taken them three days. They had to take up the bricks twice, because the slope went the wrong way. And the final product doesn’t look good.
No sign of excellence here. On the contrary!
We who are children of God must work for our money, but then the fruit we bear must be of high quality. Even if circumstances are unfavourable, even if the boss takes everything out on you, even if the others look down on you, we cannot hide. No, we must take the lead. We must work hard and make sure that our work is of the highest quality. Because that glorifies God. Even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
This reminds me of the story of the fig tree that didn’t bear fruit. The purpose of a fig tree is to bear figs. Good figs that people can enjoy. But if the fig tree doesn’t bear fruit, it is useless. Then it simply takes water that should’ve gone to other trees. Then there is no option but to cut it down and give another tree the chance to grow in its place.
That’s why we as Christians must regularly check what the fruit of our work looks like. Do people enjoy looking at our fruit and eating it? Or is there little fruit and nobody wants to eat bad fruit? Like the guys who did my paving?
If our fruit looks like the work those guys did, we need to know that such fruit doesn’t fit children of God. We’ll have to do something about it. We’ll have to see why we bear poor fruit and do something to change it.
May God’s Spirit help us to do our work well. Whether we work for a boss or for our clients. May the fruit born by our tree be good and enjoyable. And may God’s Name be glorified and made visible in our world through that.
Are you happy at work?
Are others happy with your work?
What does your work tree’s fruit look like?
Father, thank you for my work. Please help me bear good fruit, even if things don’t always go well. Please help me to glorify You through my work. In Jesus’ Name, amen.