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American Idol – Work and Money

Here’s this weeks questions around the subject of Work and Money.  With the help of the teacher in the book of Eccleslastes, it is an opportunity for each of us to ask ourselves if we are in danger of being seduced by this particular god.  Again, you can use these questions in your quiet time, around the table with your family, in your small group, or running partners. 

Read Ecclesiastes 2: 17-23
  • The passage describes how hard work leading to monetary success can be frustrating.  Can you describe some examples?
  • Can you think of real- life examples of wealthy people who have died sad and angry? 
Read Ecclesiastes 5: 1-17
  • Money is necessary, but the pursuit of it can be frustrating.  Is it possible to recognize that reality and yet still find contentment in our work?  How?
  • Take a moment to assess your money situation.  Would you consider yourself rich? Poor?  Getting by?  Are you content with your present situation or do you have real moments of panic?
  • Take a moment and assess your work situation-whether your work is outside the home or in it.  Are you content with your work?  Do you enjoy it or hate it?  Why or why not?
  • Is your chief motivation in your work to earn a paycheck?  To gain prestige in the eyes of others?  To help and serve? 
  • If God shows up in the first pages of the Bible as a worker and we are made in God’s image, is it possible to truly experience joy and fulfillment in life without working?  Without planning, creating, shaping, making, designing, something of value?  Why or why not?
  • Sunday, Mark laid out humanities job description.  He said to reflect God through our work meant we are:
    1. Planner, creators, designers, makers of something lasting value.
    2.  To take strong measures, at times, to confront evil, push back the darkness and expand the boundaries of God’s beautiful garden.
    3. To do it as an act of worship, as a way to serves God and others, in way that sees and cares for the world as God’s sacred space. 
Question:  What would that look like for you?  How would you carry out that job description at your job (or volunteer work, or church ministry)?  What would it look like to plan, create something of lasting value at your job?  What would it look like for me to ‘expand the boundaries’ so that my workplace looks more like a place where God lovingly rules?  What would it look like for me to do my job as an act of worship, in a way that serves God and others? 
  • When it comes to money, Pastor Mark said the # 1 way to unleash ourselves from the money god is to be generous.  As Christ followers, we demonstrate our generosity by giving to God and giving to the poor.  How are you doing in each of those areas? 

How can finding your ultimate meaning in Christ and the building of His Kingdom help you have a more balanced perspective about money and work?

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