Men are often considered to use either their brains or their brawn in their work. Anecdotally, I think people assume that I am unsure of which end of the hammer to hold just because I’m a pastor (whether or not that is true is beside the point!).
I recently saw the meme on the right posted on Facebook.
When I read thepost, I humorously thought, “Do those of us who do not have muddy shoes at the end of the workday fail to “work hard”? 🙂 Of course, I know that is not the intention or message of the post.
Naturally, the picture was created to combat the perception that manual labor is less important than office work. And I agree that perception should be eradicated – I’m the son of a father who has worn steel-toed boots to work in a factory for most of his life. I know that the hard work of men like my dad is invaluable to families and society.
Why do I bring this up? Because I recently read I Kings 7 in my devotions. The context is Solomon building the temple.
“And King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze. And he was full of wisdom, understanding, and skill for making any work in bronze. He came to King Solomon and did all his work.”
Did you notice how Hiram is described? “Full of wisdom, understanding, and skill.” Two of the three descriptors of this laborer concerned his mind.
For those of us who work in an office, we might be tempted to avoid get our hands dirty because we are more comfortable working with our minds than our hands. And for those of us who do a lot of manual work, we might be tempted to avoid stretching our minds through activities like reading because it is out of our comfort zone.
The reality is that we all use both our minds and our muscle in our work. The proportion may be different depending on the job, but both are used by every man. The challenge for all of us today is to work hard at developing both mind and muscle for the Lord’s use.