The American Dream 0 Society will lead us to believe that work will give us… 0 Wealth 0 Prestige 0 Esteem 0 Purpose 0 Values 0 Standards 0 Success
The American Dream The American dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." James Truslow Adams, The Epic of America, p.214-215
The American Dream "…to every man, regardless of his birth, his shining, golden opportunity ….the right to live, to work, to be himself, and to become whatever thing his manhood and his vision can combine to make him. Thomas Wolfe
Paradigm Shift God NEVER intended for man to work for these reasons! We need to re-think: 0 Why do we go to work? 0 How do we approach the whole subject of work?
How it all began… God completed His work and rested By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:2 & 3 (NASB)
How it all began… According to Genesis 2:15-20, God commanded Adam to do four things: 1. Cultivate the Garden 2. Keep It 3. Eat its Fruit (with one exception) 4. Name the Animals God gave man work BEFORE the Fall – Work is good! Work is an expression of Gods grace
How it all began… After the Fall man is opposed in his labor. In Genesis 3:17-19 we see the outcome: 1. The ground is cursed 2. In toil man will eat all the days of his life 3. Man is condemned to exhausting labor until death Man is opposed in his labor Experiences pain and frustration Work is still good
Lessons from Solomon… Labor, much like a mans legacy, is all vanity. 0 I hated all of the fruit of my labor 0 I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor 0 All the days of [a mans] task is painful and grievous, even at night his mind does not rest – Ecclesiastes 2:18-24
Lessons from Solomon… 0 I know there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in ones lifetime. Moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor – Ecclesiastes 3;12 & 13 0 Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all ones labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him – Ecclesiastes 5:18
The Tension 0 Labor and toil are a vexation – at best its all a mess 0 Enjoyment of our labor produces emptiness 0 Toil of our labor also produces frustration 0 Balanced by the enjoyment of the good of the labor 0 Eat and drink – enjoy the fruit of our labor 0 Its not all bad, says Solomon
The Tension Antinomies… 1. We are commanded to work, yet we are opposed in our work. 2. Enjoy work. Do not go to work in order to seek enjoyment. Focus on the Eternal vs. the Temporal
Why do we go to work? Three main reasons: 1. God has commanded us to work 2. Work is an environment for us to represent Jesus Christ (E²) 3. Work is used by God to determine our eternal rewards
Reason #1 God has commanded us to work Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life… - John 6:27
Reason #1 God has commanded us to work 0 Obedience is essential 0 We do not work to earn a living 0 If you do not work…you do not eat 0 Core issue – Willingness to obey
Reason #2 Work is an environment for us to represent Jesus Christ (E²) Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. - 1 Corinthians 5:20
Reason #2 Work is an environment for us to represent Jesus Christ (E²) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for Gods own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you… - 1 Peter 2:9
Reason #2 In the Marketplace… 0 Age Range 19-65 yrs 0 50 hrs/wk = 2,600 hrs 0 46 yrs = 199,600 hrs 0 Days at work = 8,317 0 Years at work = 22.8 Half of his time is spent at work!
Reason #2 0 Our work is NOT secular…it is spiritual 0 Minister to men right where you are - Do not compartmentalize 0 This is not by accident – God is Sovereign 0 We are all in full-time Christian work 0 Again…work is an expression of Gods grace
Reason #3 Work is used by God to determine our eternal rewards Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. - Colossians 3:23 & 24
Reason #3 Work is used by God to determine our eternal rewards For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. - Matthew 16:26
Reason #3 0 Only ONE person we seek to please 0 God is the source 0 Faithfulness to opportunity 0 Consequences for disobedience 0 Reward is a powerful motivator
Why do we go to work? Three main reasons: 1. God has commanded us to work 2. Environment for us to represent Jesus Christ 3. Used by God to determine our eternal rewards (and consequences)
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. - Ephesians 5:15 & 16 Why do we go to work?