It starts when you’re very little. People lean over to you and they say, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Now, have you ever heard a little child say, “Well, I’m going to be generous, healthy, helpful, and Godly”? No, the answer is always an occupation. You go to school to get ready for that occupation; you talk about your grades when somebody asks how you’re doing. Who are you? You go to college and you get your job. Then you retire, and now who am I? I’m not working any more. What are you going to be when you grow up?
I had a young woman who has an excellent legal career tell me, “Ron, I drive home in my beautiful car with my nice fat paycheck and I say, “What’s it all for?” You know, there’s a devastating lie that cripples millions of us, and that leaves us disillusioned, burned out, and terribly deceived. Maybe you’ve bought into it.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “Your Work and Your Worth.”
Well, our word for today from the Word of God is about our work and it’s in Ecclesiastes 2. I’ll begin reading with verse 10. Solomon is reflecting on his working life and he said, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired. I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.” Okay, he says, “I got some good things; I was able to do some nice things because of what I earned from working. Yet he says this, “When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had totally achieved, everything was meaningless…a chasing after the wind. Nothing was gained.”
Like that young woman said, “What’s it all for?” Then in verse 21 he says, “A man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless. What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief, even at night his mind does not rest. This, too, is meaningless.”
Solomon had achieved all his career objectives, but he discovered this startling truth: A person’s work is not his worth. Now, our society lies to us about that. We believe we are what we do. Executives are sent on retreats sometimes for self-discovery. And I’m told that in their small groups the first night they’re asked to answer this question, “Who am I?” without mentioning their company, their career, or their position. They don’t know what to say! Take away what I do and I don’t know who I am.
There are people who are neglecting God, family, health, and other people because they think their worth is their work. Well, in God’s economy, unemployed people are just as valuable as employed people. No job can give you real worth. You are a created masterpiece. Actually, work and the sweat of our brow is part of the curse of the fall.
Your worth is in your identity in Jesus Christ. Listen to these great words from Colossians 2:10, “You are complete in Him.” You got Jesus; you’ve got all you were ever meant to be. Once you’re free from the bondage of having to prove your worth, guess what? You get better in your work.
It’s time to dig down deep into where our identity was supposed to be; being God’s workmanship, the Bible says; paid for by the blood of God’s Son, who thought you were worth dying for. Maybe your whole life’s been running on a gerbil wheel, trying to be somebody, trying to be accepted, trying to get some sense of being worth something. And you find the One you were made by, made for, and who died for you, you know you are somebody.
Maybe this is your time to discover where your worth really comes from – Who it comes from. Open up your heart to Jesus and say, “Jesus, you died for me. I’m Yours.” We’d love to help you know how to begin that relationship and end this endless search for worth that ends in His arms. Go to our website. It’s ANewStory.com.
And realize when you’ve got Jesus, you are complete in Him.