Work is very important to our lives. I teach my kids that their work could be walking the dog, sweeping the floor, doing the dishes, taking out the trash, doing homework, or cleaning their rooms. Whatever work we do, we ought to do it heartily. And when we do that, our work is fruitful.
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Whatever may be our task, we can work at it heartily, from our soul. And in our work, we can do something not just for others, but for our own spirit (God's presence within us). We can work for money, material possession, or praise from others. Certainly. However, the real reward from our work comes from the spirit (Colossians 3:23-24).
How can this be?
To work heartily means to use an intensive force, with all the powers of your being. The Buddha said that our work is to discover our work and then with all our heart to give ourselves to it. That's pretty good. When we work heartily, we are using our bodies, our minds, soul, and spirit. We use everything of ourselves and we give it our all. We intuitively understand, subjectively, without effort, that we have spirit within us. And that spirit is something like a heavenly inheritance that we've received from God (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Spirit is a gift, like a reward. And we keep that spiritual gift within our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22) like a treasure.
So, let’s recap. Whatever work we do, we do it heartily (with intensive force and all the powers of our being), knowing that we have received the reward of our inheritance, which is a gift of spirit in our hearts.
Consider this. Let’s say I tell my kid to pick up her room before she goes to a friend’s house. She runs to her room, throws her toys into her closet, stuffs her clothes into a drawer, and runs out the door. Would you say she put your whole heart into this task? No.
Now, consider the same situation, but let's imagine that she takes a couple of extra minutes to straighten each area of her room. She puts her things back where they belong and folds her laundry decently and in order. Her room would be more of a blessing to walk into. Right? Sure. This would be good example to teach children how to work heartily.
For Us Adults
For us adults, we also try to work heartily in everything we do. Why? Because we have inherited from God our reward, a gift of holy spirit, the presence of God within ourselves. Inheritance means having a right or privilege to which a person is entitled by birth. When we are born again (or when we realize and believe to connect with the God and everything that is created), we inherit from God a right and a privilege to live with holy spirit in our hearts. What an incredible gift!
Rudolf Steiner said that the strength of humankind was planted by God in his soul so that he could, with all his might, love to work and learn.
Remember. Because God is spirit (not an old man with a gray beard floating in the clouds), God's gift is spirit. Because God is spirit, God's gift is spirit. We have the gift of holy spirit in our hearts. And when we work, we do it heartily, with all that intensive force and power in our being. Cool stuff, eh?
But where's the fruit? Where's the fruit of our work?
Galatians 5:22 says that when we work, with this knowledge of having spirit within our hearts, then we are fruitful.
This is the work that God's presence within you, your spirit, accomplishes.
Whatever we do, we do it heartily, because God’s presence within us brings forth fruit, such as love, joy, and peace. We bring forth fruit in every good work we do, as we steadily grow in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-12).
The more we grow, learn, become mindful of God (the universe, our Source, the unlimited power that surrounds us), the more fruit is produced in every good work that we do. As we renew our minds upon that which God has provided to us (Romans 12:2), the more we intuitively understand how powerful our spirit is in relation to the work we do.
The word translated in that verse is from the Greek word meaning “metamorphosis.” It refers to the process that leads to an outward, permanent change. Like a caterpillar to a butterfly.
Our work, when brought forth from the spirit, produces fruit, which actually is the manifested presence of God's love in the renewed mind. Read that again. Our work, when brought forth from the spirit, produces fruit, which actually is the manifested presence of God's love in the renewed mind.
Hercules, King Augeas, and Working Smartly
There's an old story that's been told many times. It's the one about Hercules cleaning the dirty cattle barns of King Augeas. Hercules asked the king that if he could clean the incredibly messy cattle barns (which held 300,000 cattle) in one day, would the king give Hercules 30,000 cattle in return for his work. The king agreed, because he knew it would be impossible for a man to shovel the 3-feet thick layer of manure that covered the floor of his enormous barn. Hercules was smart about his work though. Let's say he was inspired. Instead of shoveling the barn, he dug a trench from the nearby river and directed the flowing water toward one end of the barn. The water flowed through the barn, washed everything away, and the barn was cleaned in less than one day. Hercules worked heartily. And smartly.
In conclusion, our work may not include cleaning a messy cattle barn, but whatever work we do (from cleaning our rooms to working in a kitchen to working in a ditch to working at an office), it can be done heartily. When we work heartily, we put all of our being into it, knowing that we have inherited a holy spirit, which brings forth fruit, such as love, joy, and peace. I encourage you to work heartily in whatsoever you do, and grow in the knowledge of God.
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