Several years ago, my wife and I agreed to coordinate the Sunday evening children’s classes at our local church for the entire summer. Our church often asked for volunteers to do this or they would have to cancel the program during those months. We looked at this as an opportunity to do ministry together, serving Christ and the families of our church. When we told our pastor we would like to take on this project, he said he wanted to have another conversation with us before we said yes.
Looking back, I appreciate our pastor’s warning as we pursued this ministry opportunity. There were many things our pastor warned us of, and I must say, he was a prophet in this instance. The important thing about this exhortation is that our pastor was protecting his sheep and our attitudes in working for the kingdom. I am eternally grateful for the wisdom our pastor demonstrated because our experience was even worse than he could have known. Did we like Sunday evenings that summer? No, but we did appreciate being somewhat prepared for what to expect. From that time on, during our life as Christians, we realized how important our attitude is when we work, whether for Christ and His church or in our daily jobs.
In Genesis 29:20 we get a glimpse of Jacob’s attitude about work. He agreed to work for seven years before he could wed Rachel. In verse 20 we are told that “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, but they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” In other words, time was not an issue because of the future promise toward which he was working.If you read on, you will see that Laban deceived Jacob and delivered his oldest daughter Leah instead, using the dark of night to aid in his deception. In the morning, Jacob was surprised to learn of this deception and confronted Laban. As you well know, Jacob agreed to complete the traditional week of wedding celebration and then serve an additional seven years to marry Rachel as well. Jacob’s attitude was driven by his love for Rachel. In the same way, so should our love for Christ and His church be the driving force for our attitudes in all that we do, whether we are serving the King in ministry or in the secular workplace. If you are able to develop this attitude of service, your years will seem also as minutes, as did Jacob’s.
Tim Dick was former president of Ligonier Ministries.