Understand the Priorities of your satisfaction

By Gary Patton

He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, But he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding. Proverbs 12:11 – NKJV
Why is work necessary for human life? Because God requires man to do it (Genesis 3:19). Work is defined as labor, service, or something done. The word is often associated with the idea of addressing a problem that reveals a need or want of something in view. In other words, labor should serve to solve or fulfill something that improves life in some way.
          In the Garden of Eden Adam was given an important assignment, not to be lazy but, to actively care for Elohim’s Garden, (Genesis 2:8-9). Why was caring for the Garden important? Because it belonged to Elohim and He said it was good. Whenever God says that something is good it usually means that it has an active purpose that is experienced in some way.
          The Garden was Adam and Eve’s place of origin, fellowship with Elohim, home, work, and nourishment. It’s important for us to understand that God’s work produced life, relationships, intellectual and skillful aptitude, a place to dwell, physical nourishment, and moral integrity for mankind.
          In this narrative of creation, the garden gives man the potential and ability to appreciate and desire innocently, the beauty and address his desire and at the same time, experience free will in moral life.
  • Since these abilities have been given to us by Elohim, what does He want us to appreciate and desire for our own life?
  • Should we not seek to be innocent before Him in our understanding, desiring, and deciding how to determine any matter in this life pertaining to image and likeness representation?
  • We are to seek a relationship with Him and others starting with family, to nourish ourselves, labor, and manage God’s creation well. So what are we desiring when we go to work?
  • What is most important to us in spending our money when we think about what we educated ourselves to accomplish?
  • What is at the foundation of our desires, dreams, and goals?
  • Are they healthy, fantasy, or lofty?
  • Should we be in the habit of setting up terms for our satisfaction or is there a higher (divine) prerogative that we should consider?
  • What goal is our education, skills, and experience applied to lead us to?
  • Are we reaching the “American Dream, a certain economic class, job designation by the collar? Is your goal to purchase bigger ticket items?
  • Are you working to make ends meet?
  • Are you seeking to invest or acquire ownership of a business or property, are you seeking to set up your retirement plans in the future?
  • In human life priorities, what should be our highest need to address with our money
  • Should it be to stay updated with the latest trends or technology?
  • Should it be bitcoin?
  • Should it be to purchase Yachts or expensive cars?
  • Should it be for campaigns?
  • What about buying real estate?
  • Are we pursuing the fantasies of people who are empty of God’s wisdom?
          While none of these things in themselves are bad, they have no healthy meaning if we don’t pay attention to the essential need to provide to maintain our physical existence and health. Pursuing a career purely for the purpose of becoming wealthy can demean the qualitative effect on services that meets human need. So the prerogative that is being offered is work to support physical life and health above all other reasons. Our fantasies many times cost us and others more money and more time at our jobs. To put any other reason above this is empty reasoning, a lack of healthy sense.
  • Recognize self-need above self-want!
  • Are our basic human needs consistently satisfied?
  • In life, is what we can acquire more important than supporting our physical life?
          The answer is no. We are to support self-care out of recognition that we were made in God’s image and likeness. Elevating stuff above us ourselves can lead to erroneous greed which is an idolatrous disposition towards things and does not offer anything meaningful for any cause but to the end of an individual endeavoring to become independently secure.
           By the way, no human is truly independent. Adam had Elohim given potential to care for His Garden in Eden and to give names to animals. Agriculture and Zoology. He specified the gender of Eve. He had no human parents to raise him and no schools to educate him. No wife, friend, or neighbor to help him, but he was not independent because Elohim was his Creator and Father.
           His potential was inborn but, his ability and work were instilled and developed by the environment God placed him in (Gen. 1:26;2:9). Work is necessary for producing or developing the reality of any ideal, cause, or need to be fulfilled.
  • So what is more important, the income or the results that work produces?
  • What can money in itself produce without labor or service?
  • If a need, problem, or want is not fulfilled then, money or ownership is vanity. So now, when we go to work daily, what in our lives are we laboring to satisfy?
  • How much of what I want supersedes what I need for daily living in my mind?
  • How many purposeless items sit in our homes not servicing anything but space taken?
  • If you find that there is a lack of funds, you have more stuff than you can use, no more room for more, and no ability to organize things further, could it mean that you are conditioned to void understanding?
  • Have you become a vain person because of vain decisions? Are you greedy, a hoarder, materialistic?
  • Do you recognize the value of life through “image/likeness first” or “through income, work class, political affiliation,” etc.?
          Pay attention to what your priorities are in your spending. What are your daily goals? It is important to trace where the influence of this thinking comes from and change the influence.
          The more money that we spend on vanity, the more we must work to provide for that which is vain. In this, there is a strong possibility that a person who is in this condition could be following the resolves of those who lack good sense in this matter. Greed could move a Supervisor or Manager in a company to pressure workers especially, injured ones, to work longer and harder to fulfill certain tasks so that they will get a bonus check at the end of the month. This is not governed by their hunger for human good.
          Solomon says that we need to change our aim and focus on the things that we cannot do without in our lives. Our stomachs should remind us to care and be aware of other’s needs as well as ourselves. We cannot live long without food. It is not wise to let any other spending take priority over food.
          America wants us to spend our money on the vanities of upgrading technology, purchasing more housing, internet service, solar power, new cars, etc., while homelessness is growing, our national debt is growing, the working poor status is growing, education cost too much, home prices are too high. Another problem associated with this matter is when we work solely for the cause of becoming wealthy, sometimes the service being done lacks the human care that is necessary to fulfill the need or wanted results in services done.
          Agriculture, Farms, Health and Medicine, Food, Manufacturing, Repair Shops, Barber and Salon Shops, etc., are and can be affected by this emphasis. When there is a lack of experience due to hiring or excelling on the basis of who someone knows rather than those who are skillfully qualified to undertake those services, society suffers. This system is built on void understanding rather than truth.
To the church as covenant people of truth, Solomon teaches that we need to hold ourselves to the proper view that we should keep our priorities simple and not rush to make decisions that will cause us to be required to become a slave to the outcome of vain desires. The teaching is to enlighten us about the role and influence that our stomachs are supposed to have on our reason to work. Because we will get hungry every day. If we want to eat then, we better keep going to work (2 Thessalonians 3:10). This teaching is against the practice of being idle.
There was a negative attitude against certain types of work because of their unfavorable conditions rather than recognizing its importance in providing something that society needs. They justified laziness!
          Laziness doesn’t respond to any human need, including our own. Our stomach is supposed to move us to work and to recognize human needs. This process keeps us aware of our human needs but, working for an economic classification can become inhuman and can negatively affect the quality of services done in Schools, Hospitals, Restaurants, Barbershops, Manufacturers, car repair shops, etc.
          Therefore, let us build and promote a future where young men and women want to learn and train for the purpose of meeting human needs so that what they get paid for is not for vain satisfaction. Our stomachs remind us of our own self need and by extension, can produce an awareness and concern for human needs in our society.
          The problem nowadays is that those of us who have plenty and use their plenty to acquire more for themselves dictate the price of acquiring goods and services to the demise of those who do not have plenty. For some of them, their stomachs no longer cause them to go to work but, their success does. They are no longer sensitive to human needs, and they could affect for human good.
So what should be the priorities of my satisfaction when I rise to go to my job?
  • We need to be satisfied when we recognize that needs are fulfilled and improvement of circumstances is obtained as a result.
  • Let the pain of hunger remind us daily of the importance of addressing human needs starting with our own.
  • Whatever your skills or abilities are, use them to address human needs, not just to become wealthy.
  • Do not let those who have ownership of businesses, properties, or publications, cause us to fantasize about things and ignore the message that our stomachs teach us concerning care for ourselves, families, and neighbors.
  • Our inborn spiritual, moral, intellectual, and practical potential as being created male and female are based on God creating us in His image and likeness, but, not determined by man’s educational system. Do not evaluate your self-worth or anyone else’s based on man’s classifications but, on how you practice based on what God reveals therein.
  • Being idle or lazy doesn’t represent Image/Likeness dominion that respects and addresses any human need.
  • Since God created male and female to represent Him and reflect some of His active characteristics and created the elements of the heavens and earth, what has mankind been able to develop due to his inborn potential proficiency, talent, or skill, starting with Adam? (Genesis 2:7-8, 19-23)
  • Why was appointing Adam to work and care for the Garden important to God?
  • Where was God trying to lead Adam’s desire to eat in the Garden by forbidding him to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? (Genesis 2:16-17)
  • Why was naming the birds, fish, cattle, and beasts, an important work that God gave to Adam? (Genesis 1:28; 2:20)
  • How can work acknowledge image/likeness dominion representation?
  • What was/is God’s purpose for our work in revealing our inborn potential?
  • How does working excel consistently further than get-rich-quick schemes? (Proverbs 12:11)
  • To what progress throughout human history has laziness contributed?
  • If work doesn’t start then, what good can be accomplished?
  • If there is an attitude against certain types of jobs, does that mean to you that the job is not responding to an important human need?
  • As God’s created image and likeness should anyone who can work feel justified by being willfully unemployed?
  • In the hierarchy of the workplace did God mean for anyone to abuse dominion over others because of rank?
  • If managers deliberately ignore the working conditions concerning safety, increased workload, lack of proper training, or needed tools/ equipment for the job that workers are doing, could this promote a bad attitude towards work?
  • If scheduled work doesn’t get completed due to low morale and attendance issues because of unfair management or workers who have an unfavorable attitude toward the work?
  • If you as an image/likeness bearer choose not to work to make a living, does this attitude misrepresent God who is the object you are patterned after?
  • Since being in financial debt, poor, homeless, and hungry, can be the outcome of fantasies, how much more important is the cause of helping men, women, and children, to know that they were made in God’s image and likeness and that they have great inborn potential to be someone to do something that meets their needs and others?
Summary: The point of this teaching in Proverbs derives from God’s divine commission given to Adam and mankind after he disobeyed Elohim in the Garden. They were to be fruitful in the image and likeness of dominion cause to care, maintain, and make the best use of everything that God created to the end of addressing every possible problem or need that humans, animals, or creatures would have to face in life. If we address life issues from the perspective of image and likeness potential and ability through God, with Jesus as our ultimate Image Bearer as the Son, Romans 8:29. We are to conform to His Image alone in who we are and how we do what we do.
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