I remember as a teenager being told repeatedly: “Choose a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
My generation was raised on that idea. And it’s a nice sentiment, it really is. There’s wisdom in finding a job that you’re passionate about, a calling that goes beyond making money, paying the bills or living for the weekend.
But I think we all know there’s more to it than that. In fact, the earlier quote is unfinished. The whole quote should read: “Choose a job that you love and you’ll never work a day in your life, because that field probably isn't hiring!”
The deeper truth that this brings out is this: GENUINE LOVE doesn’t necessarily mean ZERO WORK.
The Bible has told us this for centuries. While the world loves to bring all of its attention to the emotional, swept-off-your-feet, passionate side of love, the Bible shows us a much deeper and, I’d argue, better and more complete version of love.
Love is more than attraction and more than arousal. It’s also more than sentimentality. By this standard, is love dead when the emotion is gone? No — not at all — because love is an action and a behavior.
I’ve had two careers in my life, both in fields that I genuinely love: throwing baseballs, and preaching the Gospel. And just like all of you, I can personally attest that there’s work involved in both. Like, really hard work, work that you can’t avoid, can’t shortcut, can’t get around.
Sure, there are times — many times, actually — when the joys of the job are evident and clear and wonderful. But there are also many times when it’s hard, brutally hard. But the hardness and difficulty of it doesn’t mean I don’t love it. Difficulty doesn’t equal zero love. Love accepts and pushes past the difficulty, regardless of the in-the-moment emotion.
Over and over again in the Bible, God commands us to love each other, and you can’t command an emotion. If I told you right now, “Be sad!” you couldn’t be sad on cue. I guess you can fake it, like an actor, but you’re not wired for your emotions to change on command.
If love were just an emotion, then God couldn’t command it. But love is something you do. It can produce emotion, but love is primarily an action.
1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
Just like in our careers, which begin with excitement and passion and then settle into a more mature, long-term steadiness, we’re called to have our love mature the same way in our relationships. Even long after the wave of emotional love wanes, we can still be experts in love, not primarily by how we feel but by what we do.
Wasn’t Celebration Sunday awesome?? I love baptisms, the babies were adorable (and I didn’t make ANY of them cry), the worship was sweet, and the Communion was holy.
Plus, the tacos were delicious, and the weather was perfect. Thank God we missed the torrential rain downpour the very next day! God is so good to us.