Posted by: Brian Musser | May 20, 2014

Frustrated Work

Work-Ship – Week Six:  The Limits of Work – Day Forty-One:  Frustrated Work

As we read further in Genesis we see that sin not only affects our attitude about work and rest it has also affected our ability to succeed.

Genesis 3:17 – 19 (HCSB)

And He said to Adam, “Because you listened to your wife’s voice and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘Do not eat from it’: the ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. You will eat bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground, since you were taken from it.  For you are dust, and you will return to dust.”

 If work is so good, if we can look like God while working, if we can worship God through our work then what happens when we fail to accomplish our goal?  When we do not succeed how does it feel?  When we do not complete the tasks we set out to complete what is your reaction?  Failure feels wrong.  Failure feels worse than wrong.  It feels like evil.  The opposite of good work is not bad rest but failure.

God commanded us and created us to care for his creation.  This is what we are supposed to do; however, our ability to complete this task was predicated on our continued connection with God.  It was assumed as part of the design that God would equip us with the power to accomplish the assigned task.  We would know what to do and how to do it because we would be in communication with the Creator.  It was our responsibility but with direct divine assistance.  But when sin entered the world through Adam our connection with God was severed.  We were lost our line of communication.  We still have the task of caring for the world however we no longer have the power to get it done well, know what to do or see what needs to be done.  We have a job that is ultimately good and are not equipped to complete it.  This is evil.  This feels absolutely wrong.  This leads to frustration.

Frustration can produce several responses.  We can give up and quit.  The task is hopeless so why even try.  We can try harder and harder exhausting every possible resource we have at our disposal.  This will lead to a very unbalanced life and an extreme lack of rest and trust.  We can challenge ourselves to get better, to develop our skills and become more proficient at our tasks.  Our frustration can also push us back into a relationship with the Almighty.  Reconnecting with the Creator allows us to start re-developing the abilities we were supposed to have in the beginning.  It also allows us to start reconnecting with our power source to successfully complete the tasks assigned.  Overcoming frustrating now becomes something that you and God work on together.

Discussion Questions:

How do you typically cope with frustration? 

Is it healthy?

What is one step you could make to deal with frustration better?

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