In our culture, it is very easy to be sucked into the game of rising to the top. There always has to be a next step, a promotion, or pay raise. This is true in ministry fields too so, don’t think your church and pastors aren’t feeling this same pressure. But maybe this way of thinking about work and success isn’t the way it is meant to be.
It may be a temptation to just wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, repeat. However, in this cycle, the focus is taken away from the joy of work and from the care for others. This care for others should be something the people of God are constantly thinking of. We may choose our job in order to “rise to the top”, just pay the bills, or get out of the house and in every instance we are to bloom where we are planted.
What I mean by this is that we are to do our best in whatever place God has allowed us to be. Work is an easy example since we spend so much of life working but school, retirement, even unemployment can all be places we bloom. We bloom when we think outwardly. We can’t only be focused on the benefit to ourselves but to the benefit of others. We are called by God to bless the city and people around us.
I am reminded of the book of Jeremiah. The people of Israel are taken from their land and placed into captivity. They become exiles, much as we are currently exiled from God. Even though the nation is not their true home and not their land they are still given some very profound guidance. From Jeremiah 29:4-5, “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.”
God says to the people that this new land is to be taken care of. The people are planted somewhere and must bloom there, trusting in the promise of God. Looking just a couple verses ahead we read in Jeremiah 29:7, “also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
This can be summed up in the phrase, “blessed to be a blessing.” We are blessed by God and in order to live pleasing lives to him we must bless others. This life of generosity and blessing don’t just help others but as Jeremiah 29:7 said if the city prospers you will prosper.
Take some time to think about the situation God has placed you in. What are the ways you are blessed and since you are blessed what are ways you can be a blessing? This looks different for every person and every situation. Comment below your thoughts and let's start a conversation!
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