The crowds asked, “What should we do?” (Luke 3:10)
Relate: A while back I was eating at in a restaurant when from the booth behind me I overheard snippets of a conversation that caught my interest. Two guys who worked at the same place were sitting there talking about a third co-worker. That third guy was apparently a Christian. One of the two men said, “He’s practically a saint.” The other one replied, “I don’t want a saint. I want a good employee.” The conversation moved on but my mind rolled around that last statement. Since when did a good Christian not automatically equate with a good employee? Unfortunately, I’ve met a few examples that fit the bill. Even worse, I’ve been that example a few times in my past. I have heard the saying before, “He is so heavenly minded that he’s no earthly good.” Although this phrase wasn’t used by my dining neighbors, it was exactly the concept they were referring to. I wonder if in my bad examples of being a Christian employee this phrase has ever been used about me?
The good news is that there are also examples of heavenly minded people who have done immense earthly good. 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 to anyone in need.
React: I could go on and on. You can pick practically any great man or woman of God in history and it can be shown how their work was not just what we would consider “sacred”. It was also loaded with practical “secular” application as well. That is because everything is sacred. Let me say that again. 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 power, or grumble against those in authority.” These are very down to earth responses that 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 is not 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.