In the context of nearly every conversation, if given enough time, the statement, “What do you do for a living,” or perhaps, “Where do you work” will be entered in. This is most prevalent among men, for much of their self-esteem revolves around what they have or are accomplishing in the workforce, and for many, the money they receive in compensation for their labors is secondary. The reward is a challenge faced and then conquered, the knowledge that the task has been completed.
This is the way of life for the majority of them, and each and every day, whether they are at the jobsite or not, this inner man must be appeased, the value of life is not in enjoying life, it is in facing the challenge, conquering that challenge, and then of course, the wheel must be turned, the next challenge, if not placed before them will be sought out by them. Step out of the cave, go and kill something and drag it home. It is an endless, life-long pursuit that will in many end in nothing but grief and frustration, as it is written, “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” (Eccl. 1:14)
It is in old age that the man who follows this path will become despondent, for he will need to search far and wide his memories for any accomplishment that had lasting value, and he will eventually be forced to realize that there is not one. Every accomplishment he achieved, every conquest met was simply replaced with the next one, the cycle was continuous, there was no lasting fruit to his labors, the young have arrived to what the world calls manhood, and they will now replace him on the treadmill. This, my friends, is what is known as a complete and total waste of the one life we have been given, and it is only by the grace and mercy of the Lord that this wisdom is imparted to any of us.
The accumulation of a lifetime of deeds is much more important to the average man than the money he received for them, he will treasure these certificates of accomplishments that hang upon the walls of his home far above the money that rests in the place he believes it to be secure in. He will die thinking that he has been of value and worth, that if there is a God, he will look upon him favorably, for he may not have accomplished great deeds that changed the course of history, but he applied himself, he accomplished the tasks set before him, he stayed the course. These men will die in their sins, they will find themselves in hell with many questions, and I do not doubt that every one of these questions will be answered either before or at the great white throne of judgement.
I believe that the Lord has led me to write this letter, in fact each of them, for the same three reasons that He first set me on this path, that His name would be glorified, that the reader would be encouraged, and that through the truths of Scripture they would become convicted. This one strikes at the very heart of nearly every man, and many women, who will read it, for it proclaims as truth that everything we do, everything we search for, every conquest, accomplishment, or triumph done outside of the reason to glorify the Lord God and lift up the name of Jesus has been a complete and total waste of time.
Some individuals spend their entire lives in these pursuits, the pursuit of vainglory, (Phil. 2:3) and it is a sad thing indeed to watch, in fact, I have had many personal encounters with this individual, for I was once one of them, spending the majority of my life in selfish, self-centered pursuits, that when attained, needed to be replaced with the next foreseeable conquest. Many fancy, highly sought-out-by-others pieces of paper and framed certificates were thrown in the trash bin the day that our Lord was merciful enough to show me the truths of these words written here, and I miss not one of them, in fact, I detest the knowledge that I was easily fooled into believing that so much time was being used in valiant effort.
My prayer is that those of you who are reading this poorly written letter, and are still seeking for any type of accolades, whether noticed by others or for your own selfish pleasure, your own vainglory, will be brought to these same truths. Beyond much prayer and supplication, (Phil. 4:6) here are some phrases that may assist you when that question arises, when someone says, “What do you do for a living?”
“I seek the kingdom of God daily, for the Lord has promised me that if I do, all my needs will be provided for.”
“I serve the Lord Jesus Christ at His leisure.”
“I am a servant of the Most High God.”
“I am an ambassador for the kingdom of heaven.”
“I am a Christian, cleverly disguised as a…”
Will they look at you funny, will you receive odd glances and confused stares? Count on it. The opportunity to witness for Christ will be flung wide open, you will begin in time to see the truth of these words, you will be blessed to be able to see all of those so-called grand accomplishments of your past for just what they are, dung. (Phil. 3:8) Parts of a useless life spent in selfish conquest that were of absolutely no value to the kingdom of heaven, wood, hay, and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12-13) that landed nowhere but in the fire, to be burned up as unprofitable, and you will praise the Most High for showing you the truth.
For the individual who truly desires to serve Christ with their whole being, these moments will become one of the main pinnacles of dying to self, they will begin to draw you closer to Christ than what you ever thought possible, His favor and grace will begin to shine on your life. It may be the most difficult task you will ever undertake, and if you are a man who has sought challenges your entire life, it is the perfect path to attempt to travel, for the greatest challenge is always the most profitable to us.
When the words come out of your mouth, “I am a servant of the Most High God,” naturally and without forethought, as simply the truth to the answer of the question they will ask, for they always do, you will know you have begun to traverse that path in earnest.