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“Work and ambition are wrong.”

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“Mary has chosen what is better,” Jesus said in Luke 10:42 when he visited Mary and Martha’s home. While Mary was listening to Jesus, Martha had gotten distracted with housework. We Christians hear this story and often hang our heads in shame, heaping guilt on ourselves for being productive.

In the previous devotion, we looked at the problem that results from pride in our busyness. On the flip side, many of us suffer from guilt over our busyness as well.

The truth is that work is one of our God-given functions. Countless people praise God through various types of hard work. They use the intellect and circumstances God has provided them with to preach, teach, build companies, raise families, and on and on. Numerous Bible verses praise having a strong work ethic. Work or ambition in and of itself isn’t the problem. What the issue comes down to is heart, motivation, and priorities.

If our motivation is to serve God with our work but also make time with him our #1 priority, we’re on the right track. There’s a time to be still and to be in God’s presence, and there’s also a time to work and get stuff done. In those times when we’re doing work, let’s approach it according to Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.”

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