Million Dollar Workplace Confession

Good morning!  He is (still) risen!  In the fall of 1989 I was in a real life-struggle in my heart.  I had worked for more than two years for an auto dealership in Greenville, NC.  At the age of 27, I was making good money to be so young. For a person who had literally scraped all his life, I was excited about my earnings!  I loved my job, by God's grace was good at it, and I was putting money in the bank.  In fact, I saved one-third of my gross income that year.  To use an old expression, I was a "happy camper!"   Volkswagen, the manufacturer of the new cars I sold, had also just announced a new three-year income incentive that was going to really bless me financially.  Just one problem:  God was calling me to something else.

I had received a call from a church in Raleigh, NC, that was in search of a student pastor.  It was a great church and a situation that matched up well with the skills in ministry the Lord had given me.  I had already completed my Master's degree from the theological seminary here in North Carolina.  I visited the church and met the people. They were wonderful.  It seemed to be a good fit.  I felt at ease about going there but I didn't want to give up what I had at the dealership.  Or, maybe I should say, I didn't want to give up financially what was coming the next year or two or three.  On  the other hand, the salary in the student ministry position was not a very attractive package.

I began to bargain with God.  I literally informed Him that if He would allow me to have from age 27 to age 40, I knew I could bank a whole lot of money and then never have to "be concerned about money again or taking any particular salary from a church"  and that at age 40 "I can do anything you want me to, Lord, and I know it will be OK, without any worries."  I also told Him that if He would give me those next 13 years to bank that million dollars that I would serve Him for the rest of my life, no questions asked.  Wow!  Did you hear what I just told God? Can you believe how selfish I was being? As if we can bargain with God!  As if He isn't able to take care of us with a much smaller salary.  As if God owed me 13 years to do my own thing apart from His perfect will!  God does not bargain with us!  He is Lord.  He reminded me over the next 30 days that, "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?"  (Mark 8:35)  After calling the church to tell them I couldn't come, I called them back and did the right thing:  I went to be their student pastor.  I never regretted that decision because I chose obedience in my worklife and not money.

Today's Workplace Challenge:  Be reminded that there are some things far more important than money in your worklife and walk with God. Choose obedience to His will as opposed to a "better or more lucrative position."  Give up any notion that you can bargain with God about work or anything else in life, for that matter!  Allow Him to be your Lord!  Let Him have full control of where you work, what you make, and how you fulfill your daily responsibilities on the job.  Remember, you can gain the whole world.  If you lose your peace, fellowship with God, or the joy of knowing you are walking in His perfect plan, however, then what (exactly) have you really gained!  By the way, the seven years I spent in that church yielded a bumper crop for the Kingdom and the residual benefits continue even to this today!  Be profitable and gain all you can...just be sure you are doing it within the boundries of God's awesome plan for your worklife!  Have a great weekend!  Let's make it count!