Work

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Go to the ant, O sluggard; 

consider her ways, and be wise. 

Without having any chief, 

officer, or ruler, 

she prepares her bread in summer 

and gathers her food in harvest. 

How long will you lie there, O sluggard? 

When will you arise from your sleep? 

A little sleep, a little slumber, 

a little folding of the hands to rest, 

and poverty will come upon you like a robber,

and want like an armed man (Prov 6:6-11 ESV). 

Pastor Jimmy’s youth teaching on Saturday was from Proverbs and was on the topic of work. The three points were: 1. Work hard; 2. Work honestly; 3. Work to honor God. And his reflection/discussion question were: “which of these areas are your strength and which needs work? And what can you do to start working on the area that needs work?” Even though this lesson was for youth, I am convicted by it!

I would definitely say that my weakness is CONSISTENTLY working hard to honor God. Jimmy asked the question, “what keeps you from working hard?” Oh man, I could write a book on this! Regardless of the task I have horrific perfectionistic tendencies. Fear of embarrassment, failure and wanting things to be “just so” runs deep in my life. I can be fearful and anxious that I will run out of energy or that I will get interrupted. The worst and I mean the WORST is when I start getting frustrated because I do not know how to do something or I do not know what to do or feel I am going to fail/let someone down. My response is that I get really, really quick tempered and edgy. Then comes the abyss of self-defeating questions like: “what purpose does this serve?” or “does it even matter?” or “what value is this to anyone?”

I know, that I know, that I know that God’s purpose for His people is to bring Him glory. Yet, I can focus on everything else but that. I am thankful that God calls His people to rest in Him. We are not to work so hard that we burn out; however, we are not to be sluggish, lazy and procrastinating either (Prov 10:4-5).

While I am not a big fan of ants [Lancaster County, PA is home to a variety of ants and I don’t know anyone in this town who has not had to deal with ants in their place at some point in time] Jimmy made a good point, “ants don’t need micromanagers, they are always patrolling [and] ants learn how to go around obstacles.” When I am in one of my freakout modes, Nathan’s form of encouragement is telling me to “adapt and overcome.” Instead of being highly annoyed by this “encouragment” I am going to focus on being like an ant!

Regardless of what our work is, integrity and just scales matter. God cares about the character of the worker just as much as He cares about how the work is performed. It never ceases to amaze me how much God cares about our character AND conduct. If there is one thing that I hope will be said about me someday is that I worked honestly. That I lived an honest, transparent and authentic life. I do NOT ever want anyone to read this blog and think that I have it all together. I am a sinner saved by grace and each day I realize more and more how amazing and sweet His grace is.

Lord God, I do not know what work looks like in the life of this reader, but I do know that You have work for them regardless of physical, mental and emotional abilities. Lord God, as this world spirals more and more out of control may Your people seek to honor You even more with their work. You created us to bring You glory and the devil has wanted Your glory since his fall. Lord God, help our minds, hearts and hands give glory, honor and praise to You for all that You have done for us. Amen.

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

51 thoughts on “Work”

  1. In my last job (retired from) Integrity was higher on the list then job completed. What a joy to work with people like that. Not so ironically, personal productivity was higher in that company than any other place I have worked. thanks for this Mandy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderfully honest and relatable post. I have perfectionistic tendencies myself, and if I have a to-do list or schedule that gets interrupted, I get all bend out of shape!

    Keeping in mind that we are to bring Him glory is great Biblical advice, and something I should probably repeat to myself often! 🙂

    Eek. Ants. No 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Mandy, If there is one thing that a lot of years gives you is the comprehension of what matters or in other words, being able to put things into a bigger perspective. Many of the things (not all) that used to bother me, have diminished somewhat over the years. I can vividly remember getting all bent out of shape when something I planned fell through or had to be changed because of unseen circumstances. Really important priorities do eventually stabilize at or near the top and things of a lesser importance do go down on the list and can even be disregarded if necessary. Little things that are important about things of real value are more important than big concerns about things of a lesser value and in hindsight I wish I had paid more attention to more of those little things than I did to what I saw at the time as big things. Kind of like mixing oil with water, when you are young it is all shaken up but as time progresses, the oil goes to the top. Funny how that works. Great post, thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and Nathan!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mandy, love the honesty. You do that so well & it helps your readers. Never stop doing it. I grew up in the martial arts universe. One of the pieces of advice which has stuck with me, not that I have always lived it out loud, came from Bruce Lee. Although he was addressing a mixed martial art, which didn’t exist at the time, it was wise for life. He taught, “Be like water.”. In other words, be fluid. Like a stream meeting a large stone in its way, it changes flow to slip around or over the stone. When circumstances plant themselves in front of you which blocks the form you execute, instead of forcing your plan, be like water. Moses had the thought to hit the rock more than required, instead of breaking down his preconceived notion and do what God required, he failed the faith test. Sometimes, in fact, most of the time, adapting to obstacles delivers overcoming. Above all, the Lord knows how you think, your psychological make-up, your notions. For me, that is a resting place. Hugs and God’s grip – Alan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Alan! This is such a gift! Water, love it!!! When it comes to people my mama always said to me “be a duck, let the oil roll off of you!” When it comes to obstacles I love this imagery of water!! I am going to save this wisdom!! Thank you sweet man for your encouragement and belief in me! YOU ARE LOVED!!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Work? Argh! I’m trying not to think about work today! Just kidding! Thanks for this post. We honor God in all that we do, including our work. As I’ve mentioned before, I work with a big bunch of thieves who are all poster children for how NOT to work! The boss created the culture by not enforcing the rules. He’s going to retire soon and has had several department meetings recently, warning and threatening that he’s going to start cracking down to change the ingrained bad behaviors. He says he feels an obligation to whip everybody into shape before he hands the reins over to his successor. After he’s done with his warnings, the workforce says to themselves, “Whatever,” and five minutes later they’re pulling the same antics.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! I’m so happy to have my own niche job and to no longer be training. Three months of constant training was hard.
        My to-do list grows as my sister’s move date, June 1st, gets closer. The real work will be when she’s gone and the house has to be “prepped” for sale.I will hire a crew to fill a dumpster and clean. To be candid, Corinne doesn’t enjoy seeing more and more of my time being eaten up by the sister project when there are small projects to be done at our house. I need to prioritize some home projects as well.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, Mandy! I’m going to try hard to limit my “work” for my sister to mostly making phone calls and coordinating and hiring out for the cleaning and painting.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Work is a tough subject Mandy. As a younger man I was a hard worker who took pride in the end result, but nowadays work (not paid/employed work) is always difficult. My obstacles are physical and mental, not being able to stand or my memory shutting down. As these obstacles become more frequent with age I am learning to depend more on Father God. He is a Good Father!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your spirit of encouragement is a great motivator to me Mandy, and probably many others too. Susan has been doing well but lately has had some scary experiences with food getting stuck. We are still awaiting news regarding treatment for her eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Amen! Great and insightful post. Ants have always fascinated me all though I’m don’t really like them, they are amazing to observe and see how hard they work. Thank you for the post! God bless you and Nathan

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel the same as you, Mandy. I don’t want people to read my blog and get the impression that I have it all together. Ibateive to be authentic with what I write and hope people are encouraged through the lessons I’m learning. I also struggle on consistency in doing things for God’s glory. It’s amazing how easy it is to make it about me, in my case. How much easier life would be if this was always at the forefront of my mind and my desire–to seek His glory. Good thoughts, Mandy!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow awesome post! Thanks for this post! Lots of post from you this month, and thanks for putting it in print my study and also sharing your applications and insight and personal application. I hope this minister to others who also might need to know others go through the same struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am SO thankful that you are okay with this! Such a powerful study for people of all ages! I am feeling more confident with blogging and like this is what I am to be doing. Everything I mentioned in this post is what I have struggled with in blogging. Like does it matter, will anyone read it. And I mean this in all humility, I feel like God has given me a heart, knowledge and passion for the OT to share with others. Thank you for your encouragement and I am glad to be on this journey with you, Nancy and kiddos!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am a bit like you Mandy when it comes to struggling with fear of embarrassment and failure. I really like what you said that God cares about the conduct and the character of the worker.
    Your post helped me with this one point that I am going to apply practically – when I am doing something and I struggle with those thoughts of doubt etc, I am going to take a moment and ask myself if I am bringing glory to God doing this and that should help me focus back on what matters and not my emotion through it all.
    Thank you so much Mandy for this.
    Blessings to you 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this, Manu! I am glad to know I am not alone! I can let emotions tank and raise me far more than I want to think about and admit. Praise God that we walk by faith and not by sight or feelings/emotion and that He helps us when we seek Him. Love, hugs and blessings!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you Mandy, so many of your readers like me see ourselves in your honesty. “Fear of embarrassment, failure and wanting things to be “just so” runs deep in my life. I can be fearful and anxious…” I can relate to this, definitely can rob us of simple pleasures. I tell myself that being gripped by feelings of inadequacy is as bad as being overconfident, it’s a self focus. I strive to give the challenge to Jesus.
    About the “ant”…ever notice how God frequently points to the ordinary? The ant, the sparrow, the sheep…unnoticed by the world, but His eye is upon them and upon us, without grand expectations, just to trust Him.
    Thank you for the closing prayer. I join in agreement. May our lives honor and exalt Him, even through the utter ordinary things of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I read a post on procrastination yesterday and then your post today which was great encouragement. The Lord took me through a season about 18 months ago when he showed me how my need to get things right and perfect and my fear of making mistakes was holding me back. He didn’t want me to be reckless in my work but to trust Him, that He alone is perfect and will teach me His ways. I can trust Him with my mistakes. He just wants me to let go of my fears, anxiety and pride and use what He has given me for His glory. To step out, do it and give him my best and He will take care of the rest. Thank you so much for your post. I am sure it will help a lot of people. Bless you. Nicola

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mandy I love your so open and honest approach. I can relate to what you have shared and I am sure so many of your readers will feel the same. As Christians we grow in grace as the Holy Spirit works in us to make us more like our Saviour, but it takes time,
    May we do all for His glory.
    And a big AMEN to your prayer.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Muchas gracias por orar por nosotros Mandy. You are one of a kind. Looking forward to meeting you in the presence of our amazing Saviour .
        Que Dios te bendiga .
        Still praying for your brother .

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for popping my bubble, I thought you had everything together! 🤪 Wouldn’t that be nice for us all! A little while ago, I heard a couple of brothers who are in business state that they get on their knees every morning at the office and pray for God to bless their business, then put in the effort as if it all depended on them. I have done that and it is amazing. Inviting God into my workplace, because everything I do is for His Kingdom. This month I adapted Psalm 90:17 into a prayer. ” O Lord my God, let your sweet beauty rest upon me and give me favor. Come work with me today, then the work of my hands will endure, and You will give us success in all we are doing together today.”

    Like

  15. Just prayed for your friend; yes this year does reveal a lot of people’s heart and it isn’t all pretty…day is going well, finishing teaching kids and now going to get ready for lunch and hope to squeeze in reading today!

    Liked by 1 person

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