Those are the words of a man in love.
"Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, 'I'll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.'" Genesis 29:18 (NIV)
Jacob's statement led me to think about the reasons we choose to work. For each of us, the answer may be different. Let's explore some of the most common motivations to work.
"If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)
For the great majority of the workforce, work provides the financial resources necessary to provide for ourselves and our families. This includes the basic standards of care, such as housing, clothing, and food. It may provide for a means of transportation.
If the income stretches far enough, we may also be able to provide for some of the family's wants and desires, such as extracurricular activities, the latest electronic gadgets, or trips and vacations.
Work is also a way to show others love. As discussed previously, we can demonstrate our love for our family by working to provide for them.
We can also show love for others by working in or with companies and organizations that help others. Many companies provide products and services that help better people's lives. Non-profit organizations support many different causes that are prevalent in our communities.
Whether we work as an employee or a volunteer, our assistance is evidence of our commitment to the people or principles supported by these groups.
We all have a purpose in life. Some of us know what that purpose is. Others are still searching for it. Nevertheless, when we can incorporate that purpose, or our goals, into our worklife, it can be all the more enjoyable.
God wants us to enjoy our work. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 2:24-25, "A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?" (NIV)
While money is a common motivation to work, this is a motivation that needs caution. We need to be careful with how we think about money. While money serves a function in our lives, we cannot let it control us. God knew before we were born the kind of hold that money can put on us.
He provides us with guidance in His Word.
In Luke 16:13, Jesus tells us, "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (NIV)
As we consider our own work, as well as the people and the principles that are most important to us, let's evaluate our own level of dedication. Do we display the same passion and enthusiasm for work that Jacob expressed in his quest for Rachel? Can we do more?