1 John 2:16 For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
Years ago when our first two sons were little I took a job at a large bakery in Michigan. The ministry we were involved in was struggling and I needed to have a paying job. I discovered on my first night at work why there was a high turnover rate for this position. In fact it was not unusual for men to quit during their very first night. There were several of us racking bread. We each stood at the end of a line of rollers where the loaves of bread came. After going through a slicer and bagger machine, they came to each of us like a never ending line rolling along. I think they came at a rate of about 50 a minute.
For eight hours we would stand in one spot and slide the bags of bread on to trays that could hold 10 loaves apiece. Then we would slide the trays filled with bread into big racks on wheels. If any of us fell behind there was emergency shut off button we could push to stop the bread coming down our line but that meant we got yelled at. But at least that was better than the loaves going off the end of the rollers onto the floor at our feet.
One night while working I got to thinking about our sons (who were 1 & 2). I thought of them in elementary school and the teacher asking students what their daddies did for work. The students one by one answered, “My daddy is a teacher. Banker. Doctor. Lawyer. Engineer….” Then it was my son’s turn and he said, “My daddy racks bread at Schafer’s Bakery.” I was mortified. Here I had a college degree and was racking bread!
Immediately, the Lord took me to task for my prideful attitude. My mind was filled with questions that did not originate with me and each I knew I had to answer. Is the work you are doing necessary? – “Yes”. Is it dishonest or sinful? – “No”. Is it enabling you to pay your bills and provide for your family? – “Yes”. Is it honorable labor? – “Yes”. Are you grateful for this job? – “Yes”.
Instead of focusing on prideful comparison of jobs, the Lord wanted me to recognize the honor in work – and the importance of providing for myself and for my family. It is a real snare to look down on jobs as being “beneath” us because the attitude will easily translate over onto those who are doing the jobs. What a blessing it is to be able to work.