Skip Heitzig - When Work Becomes an Idol
How are you today? Good. You look good. This service always looks alert. Yeah. It's really good. Good to see you. Would you turn in your Bibles, please, to the Book of Psalms today, Psalm 127. I'm going to talk to you about your favorite topic, work. Nah, it probably isn't your favorite topic. But we're doing a series called Hustle and Grind. And we established a couple of teachings already on this subject. So we want to continue that theme. And I want to talk to you about when work becomes an idol.
It's no revelation to you that America is a nation founded on hard work. We reward hard work. We celebrate hard work every September. The first Monday of September, we have a holiday called Labor Day, where we pay tribute to the achievement of American workers. And if you work hard, typically you will be elevated in your career. You will be esteemed among your peers. You will make more income. You will be able to provide better for your family. We call all that success. We typically put that under the banner of the American dream.
In fact, even the scripture commends hard work. In Colossians, chapter 3, Paul wrote, "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ that you are serving."
If you remember back in our first study in this little series, we talked about how work was established from the creation of the world, that God himself worked. He worked six days, and then he rested on the seventh day. And then he created mankind in his image. And he gave him a job, put him in the garden to tend it.
And all that God was doing with that, he looked at it and said, it is very good. So we established the fact that the idea of working is something that God put within us from the creation, and it is very good. But even something good can become something bad if it's taken to an extreme, if it's taken too far. Work is good. Overwork is not good. Being a worker is good. Being a workaholic is not good. In fact, it can become an idol. And an idol, typically, we think of as something made out of stone, some image that people grovel in front of, something from antiquity that was idolatry.
But an idol is simply something that gets elevated to an ultimate position. Typically, an idol is something that is good but gets elevated to the ultimate position. So a good thing can become a bad thing if it keeps you from the best thing. You've heard me say that a number of times through the years. A good thing can become a bad thing if it keeps you from the best thing.
And idol can be a girlfriend. And idol can be a boyfriend. And idol can be a position, an occupation. A job can become an idol. Gordon Dahl once wrote this, an economist, I want to throw this up on the screen. "Most middle-class Americans tend to worship their work, work at their play, and play at their worship. As a result, their meanings and values are distorted. Their relationships disintegrate faster than they can keep them in repair."
Now, when that happens, that's when it's bad. That's when work can become an idol. So I've had you turn to Psalm 127. And though we're going to read the entire Psalm, it's very short. It's only five verses. We're going to be principally looking at verse 1 and 2.
What do we have in 127th Psalm is a psalm or a song, since that's what the Psalms were, it's the ancient hymn book of Israel. It is a psalm, or a poem, of contrasting values, two different ways to do life, a life built on vanity, number one. Versus a life built on value, number two. So you can build projects for temporal benefit, or you can bill people for spiritual benefit.
Psalm 127, let's look at it together. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so he gives his beloved sleep." Always love that verse.
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate."
Now, I want you to notice who this psalm is authored by. If you go back to verse 1 just before it, it says a song of a sense. And then who's the author's name? Solomon. So I feel that Solomon is uniquely qualified to talk about this topic for two reasons.
Reason number one, he was the wisest guy on Earth. The Bible says that of all the people on the planet, God gave him unique wisdom so that he was wiser than any of the people at his time. So number one, because of his wisdom he is qualified. He has a unique qualification.
Number two is because he failed to apply the wisdom God gave him. And so he spoke from experience as one who violated the very principles of wisdom that God gave to him. I'll put it to you this way. Solomon was a classic overachiever. He was a workaholic, as we're going to see.
The boy failed relationally. He didn't have a wife. He had 700 wives. You got to feel sorry for the man, 700 wives and 300 mistresses, concubines they're called in the Bible. So he had 1,000 women in his life, and he wasn't good at relationships with any of them.
And he also wrote a book. Besides Psalm, he wrote an entire couple of books not just Proverbs. But he wrote his life's journal called the Book of Ecclesiastes, where he admits his whole journey and writes about it in detail. And he uses a word in that book over and over and over again. Anybody remember what that word is? Vanity. Vanity, he uses the word vain or vanity or vanities over 30 times in the book. Vanity is a word that means meaninglessness or emptiness, vapid. It is vain. And that's interesting because here in the Psalms, in verse 1 and 2 of Psalm 127, he uses the word vain three times.
And so what I want to do is work off the word that Solomon uses in verse 1 and 2, the word vain. And here's the outline. It's very simple. Your work is in danger of becoming an idol when three things happen, when you are working in vain, when you are watching in vain, and when you are worrying in vain, when you are working in vain, watching in vain, and worrying in vain. And he says as much in these verses.
So let's begin with the first, when you are working in vain. Notice the beginning of verse 1 of the 127th Psalm. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor", here's the first usage of it, "in vain who build it. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."
The question is, was Solomon speaking about his own personal house, his home, or was he speaking about another house, the temple, the House of the Lord? There's a debate about this. And both would be true, by the way. Both would be true.
But I have a hunch that he wasn't so much talking about building his own personal abode as much as he was talking about the temple, the House of the Lord, because right after that he talks about unless the Lord guards the city. And the city is the city where God dwelt, the city of the great king, in the temple, the House of the Lord. The temple was often called the house.
In fact, the mountain that the temple sat on was called in Hebrew ..., which is Mountain of the House. So when they talked about the house, the house, the house, they usually refer to the House of the Lord. We know that David, his dad, established Jerusalem as the capital. David planned to build a temple. He didn't build a temple. God wouldn't let him.
So it was Solomon who ended up constructing the temple, the House of the Lord. In fact, as soon as Solomon became king, he embarked on this massive building project. And let me just quickly describe how important that was to Solomon.
As soon as he became king, he contacted a buddy of his dad's named Hiram, who was the King of Tyre, a Phoenician city up north. And he worked out a deal where they could do a trade. Solomon would give him wheat and oil and wine from Israel in exchange for cyprus and cedars of Lebanon, wood to use for the beams of the temple.
So to assure that this would get done, Solomon sent Hiram 30,000 wood cutters. 30,000 from Israel went to Lebanon to cut wood and bring it to Jerusalem. Then Solomon drafted 183,000 workers, along with 80,000 stonecutters, along with 3,300 supervisors.
So if I'm counting, if I'm doing my math right, this boy employed about 300,000 people to build the temple, the House of the Lord. It took him 7 and 1/2 years to build the temple with 300,000 men, 7 and 1/2 years to build the temple. By the way, there's a footnote in the description earlier on in the Old Testament. 7 and 1/2 years to build the House of the Lord, he spent 13 years building his own house. So it could be either one, unless the Lord builds the House of the Lord or your own personal house. Both of them fit. Solomon was a builder. In fact, he built a lot of things. He was, I'll say it without blinking. He was an over-committed workaholic, an over-committed workaholic. I'm going to read something to you from the book of Ecclesiastes, that little journal I told you about that he wrote. We'll put the words up on the screen. You can follow along.
This is Ecclesiastes chapter 2, beginning in verse 4, Solomon said, "I made my works great. I built myself houses", plural, "and planted myself vineyards. I made myself gardens and orchards. And I planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made myself water pools from which to water the growing trees of the grove. I acquired male and female servants and had servants born in my house. Yes, I had greater possessions of herds and flocks than all who were in Jerusalem before me. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the special treasures of kings and of the provinces. I acquired male and female singers, the delights of the sons of men, and musical instruments of all kinds. So I became great and excelled more than all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me."
That part's debatable. But did you notice his boasting, so to speak, here? He said I made, I built, I made, I planted, I made, I acquired, I gathered. And then he writes this a little explanation, "whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold from my heart any pleasure. For my heart rejoiced in all my labor. And this was my reward from all my labor. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor which I had toiled. And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There is no profit under the sun." Really?
After all that hard work and acquiring and labor, that's what you say about it all? Yep, emptiness, meaninglessness.
He continues on in that chapter and verse 17, "therefore I hated life because the work that was done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and grasping for the wind. Then I hated all my labor in which I had toiled under the sun because I must leave it to the man who will come after me." And now in verse 20, "therefore I turned my heart and despaired of all the labor in which I had toiled under the sun."
Wow. First of all, the boy had a drive to work, to build, to acquire, to create. But all the while he was doing that, his relational life was crumbling, and his spiritual life was crumbling so that those women that he was chasing eventually turned his heart, the Bible says, from the Lord. So he was building and working in vain.
And in Psalm 127, he is admitting that there is vanity in working when you have misplaced priorities, when you have misplaced priorities. Let me just say a word to those who, like me, work in ministry. Because I find one of the great dangers of this can be in ministry because people in ministry, we say, yeah, but I'm working for the Lord, right? It sounds just so much better than I'm working at a secular job. I'm working for the Lord.
But you know what? There's a difference between working for the Lord and working with the Lord. And if you remember the Church at Ephesus that Jesus wrote that little postcard to in Revelation chapter 2, he said, you guys are hardworking. You are laborious. You are industrious. But I have something against you. You've left your first love.
You can be working for the Lord and not working with the Lord. There's a huge difference between activity and accomplishment. Now, the Greeks used to have a little proverb. It's a good proverb. It said, if you always keep the bow bent, eventually it will break. There was a little proverb about over commitment.
If you always keep the bow bent, intention, eventually it will break. The meaning is, if you always live with what we would say the pedal to the metal in life, something in life has to give. And usually what gives are the people around you, the relationships that at one time you deemed were important and a priority to you. But they take the backseat because you're working so hard.
You all know the name Douglas MacArthur, I'm sure, the great general from World War II. He was head of the Pacific theater of operations for the American military during World War II. In the Philippines he was stationed.
General Douglas MacArthur had a nephew also called Douglas MacArthur, but Douglas MacArthur, II. Well, Douglas MacArthur, II, the nephew of the general, worked for the United States State Department when John Foster Dulles was the Secretary of State. One evening, Secretary Dulles called his home to get a hold of young MacArthur.
His wife answered, not knowing it was Secretary of State Dulles. And Dulles said, I'd like to speak to your husband. Where is he? And she said to whoever was on the phone, not knowing it was him, she said, MacArthur is where MacArthur always is on weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays, and nights, in that office. She just unloaded.
Well, Dulles knew there was a problem. So he figured out a way to get a hold of MacArthur. When he got him on the phone, he said, go home at once, boy. Your home front is crumbling. Your home front is crumbling. Here's a question, how's your home front? How's your home front?
I'm not asking how your house is, your stucco on your house or your siding on your house or your roof or your garage. Those might be fine. How's your home front? How are those people, the relationships in your home? Working in vain, that's number one.
Second is watching in vain. The Psalm continues, after saying, "unless the Lord builds a house, they labor in vain who build it", we're told this, "unless the Lord guards the city", that is watches, maintains it, "the watchman", those who are on the walls doing the physical job of that, the watchman, "stays awake in vain." It's one thing to build a temple, the House of the Lord. It's another thing to protect it. It has to be guarded.
Now, the people of Jerusalem believed that their city was invincible because it was the city of God. And even back in Psalm 125, two psalms before that, it says, those who trust in the Lord will be like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people from this time forth, even forevermore.
So based on psalms like that, they just thought, as long as we're in the city of God, God's watching over it. And by the way, as long as God watched over it, things were good. But when God wasn't watching over it, things would not be good. That's fair enough.
Well, who built the temple again? Who built the House of the Lord? Who did the construction? Solomon. And when Solomon built it, he dedicated it. And he had a long prayer of dedication. It comes to us in the book of 1 Kings chapter 8 and 9.
You don't have to turn there. I'm going to throw this again up on the screen so you can see it. But I want to read something to you that God told Solomon after Solomon prayed after the temple was built. And he said, oh, Lord, please watch over this house and watch over this city. And so God answered him.
This is 1 Kings, chapter 9. It says, "the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time", as he appeared to him at Gideon. "And the Lord said to him, I've heard your prayer and your supplications that you have made before me. I have sanctified this house which you have built to put my name there forever. And my eyes and my heart will be there perpetually. Now, if you walk before me as your father, David, walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and my judgments, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, as I promised David, your father, saying, you shall not fail to have a man sit on the throne of Israel. But if you or your sons at all turn from following me and do not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them. And this house which I have sanctified for my name will be cast out of my sight. Israel will be a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will be exalted. Yet everyone who passes by it will be astonished and will hiss and say, why has the Lord done thus to this and that house? And they will answer, because they forsook the Lord their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and have embraced other gods and worship them and serve them. Therefore the Lord has brought all this calamity on them."
Look, you guys are good to go. This temple you built, thank you for building it. Yep, I'm going to be here with you perpetually. I'm looking after you. But if you turn or your son's turn away from me, deal's off. Deal's off. See, what's interesting about all this is if you go to Israel, you can find, archaeologists have found what they call Solomon's gate. When Solomon built cities, it's like he wanted to make sure that what he built would be guarded with his own human effort. So he built a gate. It's called the Solomonic gate.
It's four interlocking gates, with chambers in between each gate. So if an enemy can breach the first gate, he's now trapped between gate number one and gate number two, with soldiers stationed in each side shooting arrows or pouring oil on top of your head. And you have to do that three times to get into the city. It was almost a fail-safe, he thought, protection measure.
But what happened historically? What happened is Solomon turned his heart away from God. And later on, the kings that followed after him forsook the Lord completely. So you know what happened? God stopped guarding the city. He withdrew his protection from the city he made a covenant with.
And we know what happened 586 BC. The Babylonians came in, burned the city with fire, and destroyed the temple and took the people captive to Babylon. So moral of the story is this. If God is defending you, no worries. If God is not defending you, nothing you do will help, right? So you want to make sure God's on your side.
Actually you want to make sure you're on God's side. That's a better way to put it. We say, God, I hope you're on my side. We do that in football games. We pray for our team. That's dumb. I don't think he cares all that much about football. I don't even know why I'm using that as an illustration. So let's just scrap that. You want to make sure you're on God's side.
Now, nobody knew this better than King Hezekiah. I know I'm giving you a lot of history today, but that's OK. I think you're up for it. King Hezekiah followed Solomon, one of the sons of Solomon, the progeny of Solomon. King Hezekiah was the 13th King of Judah.
The people had gone up and down in terms of idolatry. During Hezekiah's reign, and enemy came and surrounded Jerusalem. Hezekiah was hoping the Lord was guarding the city. But he was not sure because the Assyrian army under Sennacherib was a powerful invading army. All the other nations it had come against fell. And now they're at the gates of the city.
So the general of the Syrian army stands in front of the walls of the city of Jerusalem, starts lipping off and mouthing off to King Hezekiah and to the people who are guarding the city. And he says, what confidence is this in which you trust? If you say we trust the Lord our God, has any of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the King of Assyria? In other words, we have a perfect track record. Every nation we invade falls to us. You're next.
Well, King Hezekiah here's this, tears his clothes, puts ashes on his head. It's a thing they did back then to show that they were humble. Humbled himself. Went into the House of the Lord, the temple, and prayed, cried out to God, please, God, we're sorry. We repent. We've sinned against you.
Isaiah the prophet came to him and said, God has heard your prayer, and God will deliver you, protect the city. And he did. He guarded the city. And the Bible tells us in both 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah chapter 37 that the angel of the Lord went through the camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 in one night. 185,000 were dead. Any of you remember the show in the 1990s called Touched By an Angel? Remember that show? Well, this would be called Punched By an Angel.
This is what happens when one angel is after you. 185,000 we're dead. So God guarded the city. Now, apply all of that to your life. What God builds, God can guard. What God has given, God can guard. If God has given you a job, God has given you your family, God has given you your home, God can keep that for you. God can guard that for you.
And it's important that you hear that, that you are where you are in life during this time of history. And it's not like God is not in control. He is in control. I say that because we live at a time in our history after the last two years, there's a lot of people, I find even Christian people, wondering about the future and not just wondering, but fearful of the future, just living in fear, like Chicken Little. The sky is falling. The sky is falling.
Randy Alcorn said, "if you base your faith on a lack of affliction, then your faith lives on the brink of extinction." It could fall apart with a single phone call. You're just living your life with your nails every day gripping instead of relax. You're a child of God. What the Lord builds, the Lord can guard.
Job knew that. Even Job after he got sick and lost everything, he said so beautifully, and I admire him so much. He says, the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. God hasn't changed. My relationship with God hasn't changed. Yes, this has changed on the horizontal level. But the Lord gives. The Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. And he didn't charge God or blaspheme.
So working in vain, watching in vain, here's the third, worrying in vain. That takes us to verse 2. It is vain, here's the third usage of it. "It is vain, empty, worthless, futile, vain, for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, for so he gives his beloved sleep." That verse is talking about the artificial lengthening of one's day that adds anxiety to a day of labor already.
In other words, you build all day. You guard all evening. And then you toss and turn all night long because you're worrying about it. The Living Bible translates verse 2 this way. It is senseless for you to work so hard from early morning to late at night fearing that you'll starve to death. That's no way to live.
Now, Solomon gives three details in this poetic stanza. He says, first of all, it's demanding. Rise up early. Sit up late. In other words, it takes all your time. It's demanding.
Second detail, it's excruciating. You eat the bread of sorrows. You eat the bread of sorrows. You're busy but bummed. That's your life, busy and bummed. Describe your life, busy and bummed. That's me. Always busy, always bummed, eating the bread of sorrows.
Third detail, it's exhausting. But he says, for so he gives his beloved sleep. You weren't meant just to work. And you certainly weren't meant to worry on top of all your work. Interesting, you know the name George Lucas, yes? Star Wars, Indiana Jones, all those great movies he made. Lucas Films is the company he came up with.
George Lucas, there's a biography written about him that describes the young George Lucas as this overworked, over-worried executive, multimillionaire, restless, unfulfilled, and frustrated. He didn't have a good relationship with his wife, not a good relationship with people. But he could not stop working. He couldn't quit. He just didn't enjoy life.
He built a house. He built an empire by work and watching and worry. But so what? So what in his own personal life? Did you know that our word worry, the English word worry, comes from the German word. It's based on the word... And the word ... means to choke or to strain.
Remember what Jesus spoke about? He said the seed of truth gets choked by the worries of this world. It's a very descriptive term, choked, strained by the worries of this world. One of my favorite stories about an overworked over-committed man who learned his lesson and finally let go, his name was George McCauslin. He was the director of the YMCA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania some years ago.
During that time, though, the local YMCA that he was managing was going through a bad bout. They were losing members. They were losing money. There was squabbles among the staff. George, the director, was working 85 hours a week, losing sleep. And things were not getting better.
He finally went to a doctor. The doctor said, George, you've got to figure out a way to let go of this because it's going to kill you. So one day, George said, I took a long walk in the woods with a pencil and a pad of paper. I sat down under a tree, and I wrote God a letter, a resignation letter. I said, dear God, today I hereby resign as the general manager of the universe, signed, George. And he said, wonder of wonders, God accepted my resignation.
I think God's waiting for some of your resignations. You're trying to just control everything. And God's saying, why don't you just resign that position of being the manager of the universe and leave that job up to me? While, yes, we admire people who build and work and watch, again, do not confuse activity with accomplishment. You could be worshipping your work.
Learn to leave your work at work and not take it home. Somebody said, blessed is the one who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night. Work hard during the day, and turn it off in the evening.
Now, I want to close by just sort of summing all that we have talked about from the Old Testament and these different illustrations. I want to tie it together. I want to give you some practical tips on how you can tell if you're worshipping your work or beginning to worship your work. Number one, exhaustion, you're just exhausted all the time. And you find yourself going to the office just a little earlier and coming home just a little later, and eventually a lot earlier and coming home a lot later. And when you come home, you're whooped. You're drained.
And you know who that impacts the most, besides yourself, besides your own health, like your heart and your nerves? Your people, the people in your home, your family. You will never find in scripture some verse of scripture that goes like this, tiredness is next to godliness. You'll never find that, not in there. Exhaustion is next to godliness. It doesn't say that.
In fact, what we do find is the Lord Jesus spotting with his disciples this tendency to overdo it and commanding them to stop doing it because they were exhausted. The text is Mark chapter 6. I'm going to read to you a couple of verses beginning Mark 6 verse 30. "The apostles gathered to Jesus and told him all the things, both what they had done and what they had taught." They're working for God.
"And he said to them, come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while. For there were many coming and going. And they did not even have time to eat." That's exhaustion. "So they departed to a deserted place in a boat by themselves." Jesus knew how to keep life balanced, and they did not. And he checked them on it. So exhaustion is the first.
The second tip you can tell if you're worshipping your work besides exhaustion is pride. You take a certain amount of pride in identifying yourself in the occupation in which you find yourself? Your conversations are about what you do. You like to talk about that a lot. You like to talk about your work a lot. You bring that into every conversation.
Your identity, instead of just being a child of God or the husband of this wonderful woman, it's I'm a CEO, or I'm a COO, or I'm a manager. You take pride in that. Can I remind you that the people of Babel, the city of Babel in Genesis chapter 6, sought to make a name for themselves based on their work. Tim Keller said this, "when you make your work your identity, if you're successful it destroys you because it goes to your head. If you're not successful it destroys you because it goes to your heart. It destroys your self-worth."
So this is pride. This is when you make the most important thing about you, your work. So exhaustion, pride, number three, fear. If you're fearful all the time, you're fearful of the future, fearful of any change, fearful of the loss of work, you're driven to find security in wealth, therefore work, and you have can't bear the thought of losing that job, perhaps you've become slaves to it. Number for, escape, you always have the excuse, I've got to work. Well, honey, can you do this? Got to work.
Yeah, but I need that, yeah, but I got to work, work. I provide for this family, work. It could be that you are just using work as an excuse to avoid personal responsibilities. It could be an escape.
Deuteronomy chapter 8, verse 18, "the Lord said, you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers as it is this day." Look it, God gave you the power to do it because God wants to be a partner with you in providing for your family. That's part of the covenant that you have with God.
God will provide. You got to work. God will guard. You also have to maintain. But it's a partnership. Never lose sight of the Lord in this. And when you keep him as your priority, you will naturally keep his other children as your priority, and it's not all about your work.
So to sum up Psalm 127, if you're building your life apart from God, it's vanity. If you're worrying about it on top of that, it's insanity. But if you can keep projects and people in the proper balance, that's the right mentality. That's the right mentality.
Now, we have just a couple of minutes left. So let me give you some things to do tomorrow when you start work, if tomorrow is the beginning of your workweek. Before you go to work, begin your day with just a few minutes in prayer about your work. And ask the Lord to help you keep him the central part of your focus in your day. You focus on him. Because when you do, it's going to keep you in balance. So just offer your day to him and ask them to help you focus on him.
Second tip, when work is all done and you go home after hours, don't check your email. Don't check your email after hours. I'm talking about work-related stuff. Number three, from time to time, review your calendar. Look at what's coming up ahead in the week and month and just ask yourself, is this a balanced life? Do I find myself like the disciples, talking about what I do and what I've taught and yet no time to rest? So review your calendar.
And then finally, number four, when work is all done and you get in your car to go home, spend just five minutes on the way home asking God to prepare your heart to be able to focus on what's in front of you once you get in that door at home. Lord, help me focus on what is at home with my family, with my wife, with my husband, with my children, with my grandchildren. Help me to focus on that and not focus on what I did during the day or focus on my position in life and how important I am, and I always have to work, but to focus on them.
Father, thank you that you have given us the power to work, the power, as your word says, to get wealth, but it's that you might establish a covenant with us, as you did our forefathers. So Lord, I pray that rather than all the vain things that we can be doing, I pray that our life would be filled with value and meaningful relationships. And may we simply use the occupation and the work that you have given us to bring glory to you, to honor you by mentioning your name during the workweek to others who don't know you, to give you glory and to point the direction, and then Lord, to use the finances that we get to build up the lives of those around us, especially our own families. Help us to keep life in balance. We pray, in Jesus's name. And God's people said, amen.