A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker? – Today’s Youth Devotion

A Butcher, a Baker, a Candlestick Maker?

Bible Reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12

This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands.   1 Thessalonians 4:11

HAS ANYBODY EVER asked you this question: “What do you wanna be when you grow up?”

You’ve probably been asked that lots of times, right? You’ve probably been asked that question so often, you feel like giving a smart-aleck answer every once in a while, like “An adult!” or “About six feet tall!”

But you probably have some idea what career or profession you want to pursue when you get older. Maybe you want to be a doctor or a country-music singing sensation. Maybe you want to be a pilot, a race-car driver, or a steamroller operator. Maybe you hope to become a quarterback in the NFL or a secret agent in the CIA. Maybe you want to be a farmer or a snake charmer. Maybe you want to be a movie star.

However you may answer the question “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” there’s an even more important question you might want to think about: Do you know how to work?

See, many kids spend a lot of time dreaming and scheming about what they’re going to be when they grow up, but they never learn how to work. Oh, they may take the trash out when Mom yells at ’em, but they get through school, and high school, and even college, without learning to work hard and stick to a job until it’s done well.

Of course, you may not have to worry about earning a living for a few more years yet. That gives you time to learn—in school, at home, even at church—how to apply yourself to a job and obey God’s command to do good, honest work. (See Ephesians 4:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:11, 2 Thessalonians 3:12.) Just keep that in mind the next time there’s homework to do or wood to stack or a steamroller to be driven.

REFLECT: Do any of the careers or occupations mentioned above interest you? If so, which ones? If not, what careers or occupations do interest you? Do you think you need to decide that now or later? Do you believe that “a lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things” (Proverbs 18:9)? Why or why not? Do you think you know how to work? Why or why not? Do you consider yourself a hard worker? Why or why not? When was the last time you worked really hard? How can you start learning to work hard now?

ACT: Ask your parents and friends if they think you’re a good worker. Then ask for their advice on what you can do to improve.

PRAY: “Lord, teach me to be the kind of worker you command me to be. If people say that I’m not a hard worker, help me not to get angry. Instead, help me to improve my work habits.”