Labor And Profit

"Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11).

One of the inequities of human life seems to be that there is no dependable relationship between the diligence with which one labors and the reward he receives for that labor. Some men may work hard all their lives, yet live in poverty; the “idle rich,” on the other hand, may inherit their wealth.

The trouble is that perfect equity can never be achieved in such matters while man’s entire dominion is in bondage to sin and death, under God’s curse (Genesis 3:17–20). As long as one’s goals and motives in working are only “under the sun,” there is bound to be “vanity and vexation of spirit,” no matter what his current economic and social status may be. The accounts are not to be settled in the fallible ledgers kept here on earth, but in God’s books.

“Labor not for the meat which perisheth,” said the Lord, “but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life” (John 6:27). To bondslaves, Paul said, “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23,24).

It is important to remember that, when all accounts are settled at His judgment seat, the “profit” we receive is not based on quantity, but quality, of services rendered. “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it . . . and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I Corinthians 3:13).

Not “how much,” but “what sort!” There is little profit under the sun, but, if we are “abounding in the work of the Lord . . . (our) labor is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). HMM

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