What Are We Working For?

Read: St. John 6:35-40

Jesus said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life.” St. John 6:27

Frequently when a person is depressed or at loose ends, his friends will tell him to lose himself in his work. “Get busy and you’ll forget your troubles.” There is, of course, a sense in which that is true, for idleness is the devil’s workbench.

But there is also a sense in which such advice is dangerous. It is possible for us to get so wrapped up in our work that we neglect our spiritual needs…with the result that our personal faith in Christ as Lord and Savior gradually shrivels up and dies.

That is what Jesus means when He says to you and me, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”

A few verses later Jesus makes the remarkable statement, “I am the bread of life.” In other words, He is to be the highest good of all our striving…the prize for which we labor. Even more, He is to be the source of our most needed sustenance, the true food on which we live. In our Christian life we are to cultivate and to maintain a proper scale of priorities. We must work, to be sure. But in all that we do we must never lose our sense of relative values. Our paycheck, our car, our home, our bank account dare never become ends in themselves. Important as they are, we have something of greater value. The poet puts this all in perspective when he says:

What is the world to me! My Jesus is my Treasure.
My Life, my Health, my Wealth, my Friend, my Love, my Pleasure,
My Joy, my Crown, my All, my Bliss eternally.
Once more, then, I declare: What is this world to me!

Prayer – Lord, in all that I do, may I never let anything come between You and me. You are my greatest Treasure. Amen.