We all appreciate being encouraged. Whether it’s a kind word, the proverbial pat-on-the-back, or even hearing a compliment from an unbiased third party, it makes a difference. Our confidence is renewed, we get an extra spring in our step and the challenges we face in life seem to momentarily fade away. However, encouragement doesn’t have to be a scarce resource, or a limited commodity. Rather, it can be a daily V.I.P. experience when our priorities and purposes are clearly defined and fixed on the Divine:
Valued: It has been correctly stated that our self-worth is not tied to our net-worth. For self-worth is determined by God, while net-worth is defined by man. We also know the value of many gifts can’t even begin to be measured by money. Likewise, we are priceless treasures to Christ, whose lives meant more to Him than His very own (Titus 2:14).
Industrious: A joyful spirit is not one that sits, soaks and sours. Rather, it is one tied to a righteous heart actively engaging in various opportunities to give for the glory of God (Ephesians 2:10). Just consider, when we give, our hands are open to receive the spiritual fruits that flow back to the generous. However, when we pursue accumulation, we tend to clinch and cling, resulting in clasped hands that are unable to share anything. Ironically, an abundant life is a giving life, and the spiritual gains we receive in return, far surpass anything this material world has to offer.
Purposeful: The day I realized my purposes were aligned with Jesus’, my entire reason for living was transformed. My priorities were also strategically positioned as follows: 1. Faith stewardship (God) 2. Family stewardship 3. Fitness stewardship (health) 4. Financial stewardship (job). As a result, making decisions became much easier and my devotion to each area greatly improved. For I no longer sacrificed my higher priorities for the sake of my lower ones – like I used to so naively do. After all, with God properly positioned as first and foremost in our life, He promises to lead and help us in effectively caring for all the rest (Matthew 6:33).
Application: “Career Calling” – Isaiah 58:6-9
So often, we struggle to find the perfect career in hopes of ultimately finding happiness. However, happiness is fleeting and every job has its share of troubles. Therefore, once we understand we are disciples of Jesus first, willing to go wherever He sends us, we begin to look less at our jobs, and more at the opportunities. We also begin to filter our career decisions in prayer, desiring God’s will for our life and trusting He will set our feet on solid ground. This serves as daily encouragement to embark on the career(s) Christ has called us to – resulting in earthly and even greater Kingdom impact.