Editor’s note: We’d like to extend a special thanks to Sovereign Hope Church for this interview.
Yesterday, we talked about how we can turn work into an idol. But what if, by successfully avoiding idolatry and workaholism, we become complacent?
There is a tendency for Christians either to idolize or neglect work. Is it possible to reach a happy medium?
Hugh Whelchel says that the answer is in the biblical definition of contentment. Contentment, according to Whelchel, is not synonymous with passivity or even satisfaction. Contentment comes as a result of hard work and action.
We are only content at the end of the day when we have done as much as we can to move the ball down the court, if you will.
Whelchel illustrates his point with the Parable of the Talents. The two- and five-talent servants weren’t content with what they had, yet after the day’s work, they were satisfied. The guy with one talent was content, and that wasn’t good.Can we balance our motivations?
Photo courtesy of Colin Harris
It’s easy to become impatient, especially as we enter the workforce, but it’s also easy to become complacent. Whelchel says,
Sometimes we get out ahead of ourselves and think, “Obviously, God wants me to do this, and I’m going to end up here…I’m going to end up there.” Then I know a lot of people who go with no plan at all.
The solution? Whelchel advises to work as hard as a possible where you are, be faithful in the day-to-day, know your gifts and talents and the way God might use you, and have a flexible vision for where you want to end up long term.