The crowds asked, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:10)
Relate: A couple weeks back I was eating in a restaurant when I started eavesdropping on the table next to me. There were two guys there who were talking about a third coworker who was a Christian. One guy eating said, “He’s piratically a saint.” To which the other responded, “I don’t want a saint. I want a good employee.” Their conversation moved on but my mind was stuck on that one statement. I’ve heard the saying before, “He’s so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.” Although it wasn’t used by my dining neighbors, this was pretty much the concept they were talking about. I have to admit I’m guilty. There have probably been a few times in my past when coworkers might have made complaints like that about me.
DL Moody founded schools and was influential in starting up the YMCA. John Wesley was largely influential in abolition and prison reform movements and his “methodism” was accused of being works-righteousness by critics. Billy Graham was won over to the civil rights movement early and did a joint crusade with Martin Luther King Jr. He also later posted King’s bail after Birmingham. Jonathan Edwards is considered one of the greatest minds in American history, he invested heavily in social work among Native Americans and was famous for always opening his home for anyone in need.
React: I could go on and on. You can pick practically and great man or woman of God in history and it can be shown how their work was not just what we would consider “sacred” but also had some practical “secular” application as well. That is because everything is sacred. The separation of church and state is good for politics and governance but should never be confused with the separation of church from society. John the Baptist came on the scene preaching a very spiritual message and seeking to accomplish a very spiritual task, but those responding to his message found very practical application. “Share with those in need, be honest at your workplace, don’t abuse your authority, or grumble against those in authority.” Very down to earth responses this religious “nut” out in the desert seems to be giving.
So how does my faith get reflected in my work? Does my work ethic make my boss want to hire other Christians as well? Are my coworkers glad I’m on the job? Does my work habits and attitude give me a platform so that when I share my faith others are willing to listen? Being heavenly minded means I should be earthly good. Others should look at my spending habits and say, “Christians are generous.” They should watch my attitude and say, “Christians are caring.” They should listen to me speak and say, “Christians are encouraging.” They should examine my lifestyle and say, “Christians are loving.” If little by little, day by day, more and more this isn’t happening in my life then perhaps I should start questioning if I truly am a Christian.
God, please do not let me be an embarrassment to Your great Name. Help my lifestyle and my actions give me a platform to share You with others. Help me to be diligent and hard working. Help me to live with honesty and integrity. Let it be said of me that I am both heavenly minded and earthly good. Live through me because I cannot do it on my own.