Hustle for the Glory of God
“That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13
When does our work glorify God? This is a tricky question and a difficult line to draw in the sand. At what point does our working and toiling “for the glory of God” become a performance-based hustle that causes strain rather than sanctification? Well, this author believes it is not the amount of work but the motive of our work that causes us to cross that line from glory to sin.
Ecclesiastes presents an interesting wrestling of ideas. At one moment the author declares, “I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…” (Ecclesiastes 2:18). Then the next moment he explains that toil and its pleasure are gifts from God. So, what is the difference maker between a hatred and a pleasure of our toil? How does it go from becoming a burden to a gift? One word: motive.
We see in Ecclesiastes two general motives for toiling. First, there are the motives of wisdom, knowledge, and pleasure. Do we work in order to gain more knowledge? Do we study so that we may appear smarter and wiser? Do we put in effort so we can one day enjoy the luxury of a pool or an extended vacation? If so, Scripture is clear what becomes of that toil: it is vanity and striving after wind.
However, we do have another option. Our motivation can and should be pleasing God (Ecclesiastes 2:26). There is a joy and a pleasure in seeking to do the work of the Lord. When we shift our gaze from momentary to eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and take joy in the good work of the Lord rather than the selfish work of collecting and gathering (Ecclesiastes 2:26), we become a part of a plan that goes beyond our own understanding—a plan that makes everything beautiful in its time.
This is the work that the Lord has called us to, the work that glorifies Him—eternal work which seeks to please and honor Him, rather than temporary work that seeks to appease and bolster self.
Lord, help me to view my work with holy, eternal eyes. Give me a vision only You can give and a motivation driven by Your Spirit. What is the work that You have for me to do? My hands are open; fill them with the toil that leads to long-lasting and eternal pleasure. Amen.
How do you currently view the work in your life? Is it a burden or a pleasure? Are you working for self or for God? Sternly address your motivations today and begin to align your heart with God’s heart for your labor and striving.
Nicole Mason is a born and raised Texas girl with a passionate heart for all things Christ, truth, and coffee. She is newly married and graduated, currently thriving in what it means to abandon all plans in pursuit of God’s will. She received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, only to be called to seminary her senior year for a masters in ministry studies. She hopes to use her degree as well as her personal devotion to the Gospel to draw women out of self and into truth, so they may know the joys and pleasures that come from laying down our flesh and pursuing God’s glory whole-heartedly.
*Photo by Light + Heir Studios