Walking the Line with Russell D. Moore
I have already mentioned the series of teaching on Proverbs by Dean Moore from Southern Seminary. However, I wanted to include a transcription of portions of Session 3 on "You May Already Be A Sluggard: Work and the Wisdom of Christ." Perhaps this will draw some of you to interest and listening and learning from these sessions. Here is the blockquote, which begins some around minute 30-31 of the mp3 of Session 3:
"…that’s the case with every single one of us. All of us. What we are to do, is to so gain dominion over the curse in our own lives, that we are actually in the face of our employers, surprising our employers with our excellence. That’s what ought to be happening. There ought to be a sense of awe, especially in the face of unbelieving employers, to say, “how in the world can that guy stack tires like that without having to be watched all the time?” “How in the world can that woman fill prescriptions with that kind of excellence without having to be watched and supervised all of the time?” Because you are showing and signaling that you have dominion. Not a pharaoh-like dominion, but showing that you have stewardship over what has been given to you. That is blessed in Scripture. You are having the kind of foresight: “look to the ant,” Proverbs says, because she stores up for the winter. You are seeing strategically and long-term. You may say, “well, its easy for me to see strategically and long-term when I’m the boss, when I’m the one who has ultimate accountability of what takes place.”
Yeah, but what you are called to is to have that kind of long-term foresight no matter where you are in the structure of the church, the company, or wherever you are, because you are imaging God, you are walking in the way of wisdom.
The Scripture also says that says that there is an open-handedness. Work is not simply about carrying out tasks. Its not simply about planning for the future, its not simply about living. But look in chapter 27-28: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to do it; do not say to your neighbor, ‘go and come again tomorrow and I will give it,’ when you have it with you.” It says here that there is a fruit of our labor that is an open-handedness, a giving of what we have…
The plumb-line is the way of wisdom; the measuring rod is the Lord Jesus Christ. And it is very, very easy to see spirituality as something that is disconnected from work. If you tell somebody you’re going to do something, you had better do it…with excellence. You had better do it before they want it done , better do it better than they want it done. Not because you’re trying to impress that person, we’re not eye-pleasers, Paul says, but because you are doing it as unto Christ.
If you are in a situation where you are overwhelmed about something at your job you need to be as concerned about that, about getting dominion over that, as you would be about a sin that is present in your life, what you would consider a sin. Rather, gouge out your eye, cut off your hand than fail, than be overwhelmed. Scripture is telling us that spirituality has everything to do with our callings.
So that we are working, carrying out the tasks we’ve been given, pointing to that ultimate adventure, that ultimate working in the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus, in which we are co-heirs and co-laborers with Him. You’re not in a retreat, you’re in an internship for the Eschaton. And the book of Proverbs is saying to us through the Holy Spirit will you image Jesus through work?"
Download and listen to the whole series at Moore to the Point. By the way, if you're wondering where the title Walking the Line comes from, think of these lyrics and you may figure it out: "I keep a close watch on this heart of mine, I keep my eyes wide open all the time."