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Work With Your Own Hands

 
What Condition is Your House In? 

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Last year Chuck and I decided to downsize and live a more simple life for financial reasons, as well as training our minds to not live for this world. We bought an 1100 square foot house that had been owned by an unmarried man. This young man didn't have much money to remodel this 1964 house, nor did he have the money to make repairs that were needed, so we were faced with some immediate problems to solve. And, evidently, he also had a lazy streak in him because those things that wouldn't cost money, like upkeep of the yard and cleaning out cobwebs around the house, weren't bothered with at all. He had not taken care of his house and it showed. He allowed weeds and poison ivy to take over, and due to negligence, the house was beginning to deteriorate.
 
Fortunately, the house has good "bones" and with some repair and remodeling, we are slowly bringing back life in this old house and yard. It will take some time, but with diligence, a bit of money, and some hard work, the house will eventually be more comfortable to live in.
 
As I work in the yard pulling up, seemingly, endless weeds and as I work on the kitchen cabinets, I often think of the analogies of cleaning up this house and cleaning up the spiritual man. They both take diligence and perseverance - a continual awareness of what needs repairing and keeping them in order.
  • Pulling out weeds and poison ivy, is like pulling the wicked thoughts and deeds out of my life.
  • Repairs to the plumbing and other parts of the house hidden from view, is the self-examination of my inward man and making needed repairs.
  • Cleaning and painting my kitchen cabinets is comparable to cleansing the outside of me in acting properly toward others and giving glory to Christ in my speech and actions.
 
The work of repairing and cleaning never ceases. While this all sounds tiring and all-consuming, at the same time there is joy. There is happiness in making this house and yard look fresh and clean. This is contentment in feeling comfortable in the environment as well as a sense of accomplishment in the good changes made. 
 
So it is with our spiritual house. There is joy in cleaning ourselves up and a feeling of rest and peace in knowing our diligence is to the glory of God. Our feeling of accomplishment and purpose in this life is fulfilled by knowing all our hard work will be rewarded in the end and rather then continual decay and perishing of our physical house, our spiritual house is being renewed day by day. (2 Cor. 4:13).
 

If we spend time doing our own work  instead of putting our nose in other people's work, we will get a lot more done. 

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Judge how much others work when you don't know. Not everyone brags about what they do.

Judge how little others work if you don't know their circumstances. Maybe what little they do is all they can do. 

Overspend. If you don't earn much, don't spend much. If you earn a lot, give to those in need and be careful about spending frivolously.

Be a wife that overspends and complains about what you don't have. Learn to be content.

Be embarrassed about your job or your husband's. If it is good, honest work, be thankful. 

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         The Busy Man

If you want to get a favor done
by some obliging friend,
And want a promise, safe and sure,
on which you may depend,

Don't go to him who always has
much leisure time to plan,
If you want your favor done,
just ask the busy man.

The man with leisure never has
a moment he can spare,
He's always "putting off" until
his friends are in despair.

But he whose every waking hour
is crowded full of work
Forgets the art of wasting time,
he cannot stop to shirk.

So when you want a favor done,
and want it right away,
Go to the man who constantly
works twenty hours a day.

He'll find a moment somewhere,
that has no other use
And help you, while the idle man
is framing an excuse.

                   -unknown 

"Never tire of doing even the smallest things for God, because He isn’t impressed so much with the dimensions of our work as with the love in which it is done."  -France Fénelon

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Work with our own hands so we will live properly as an example to those outside of Christ.  1 Thess. 4:12  

Work so we won't lack anything we need. 1 Thess. 4:12  

Work to build, rather than destroy. Prov. 18:9

Work with wisdom, with a plan and purpose. Prov. 24:27

Work diligently while we can, but with understanding that this physical life is temporary. Eccl. 9:10

Work diligently but keeping in mind, the fruits of our work will eventually be left to someone else; we can't take it with us in the end - it's all temporary so we adjust our priorities.  Eccl. 2:18; 5:15; 9:10

Diligent work may allow us promotions and more success at our job (keeping in mind our priorities of course) . Prov. 12:24

Enjoy the fruits of our labor. Eccl. 3:12-13; Isa. 65:22 

We are not to be lazy, but work. Lazy people are not to be fed by others.  2 Thess. 3:10-11

There is profit in work. Prov. 14:23

Work in order to help others. Eph. 4:28

Work to take care of our family. 1 Tim. 5:8

Work, when we can, so we won't be a burden to others. 2 Thess. 3:8 

Work with honesty, sincerity, obedience, in respectful fear, as to God and not as men-pleasers, but pleasing God. Eph. 6:5-7 

We are not on earth to work for the food which will perish - that is not our goal. We are to work for "the food which endures to everlasting life."  Jn. 6:27

 

“Your mind is too much taken up with your circumstances,
and this hinders you
from understanding the
mind of God....I think it is
such a hindrance to
the kind of quiet meditation
in which God reveals Himself.
You must learn to be humble and simple....
Be content with leading a simple life.”  
 -France Fénelon

 

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June 2017