I love that particular paraphrase of Zechariah 4:10, “Curse not the day of small beginnings.” Do you have a job that is “small”, maybe even unfulfilling? Do you dread going in to work? Can’t stand your boss? Does a minute seem like an hour? (Do I sound like one of those info-mercials? Just call in the next 15 minutes and we’ll double your order . . .!)
The Scripture says to “curse not” which means, in essence, do bless the day of small beginnings. When a situation has been blessed, it has pulled the best out of something. Have you blessed your job? Have you pulled the best out of it? How can you do this? Only with God’s insight and He speaks through His Word.
Philipians 4:19 (KJV) is a very familiar verse to most of us: “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.”
Let’s dig a little deeper. The Greek word for need is actually defined employment. The Greek root word for glory refers to thinking. And the Greek root word for Christ refers to employing, or to furnish a need. The Greek word for supply means to fulfill or to “level up a hollow.” Ever leveled off a cup of sugar?
If you are actively employed, then God is telling you through this verse that He has filled a hollow place in your life with employment according to the way He thinks through the One who furnishes your need.
This insight can change what we perceive as a “dead-end job.” Using this verse and the original language as a basis, I’ve come to realize that the expression "dead-end job" is actually an oxymoron. The two concepts are opposite each other in the same phrase. Dead means that something is not living, not active or its purpose has been completed. A job or employment means that something is still active, serves a purpose and is on-going.
So, how do you bless your job or “small beginning”? Does your job have “hollow” places that need filling by someone with gifts like yours? Then, ask God for wisdom and direction to level them up. Do your co-workers have mindsets that are ungodly? Then, ask God for His Glory which changes how we think about things. Begin to literally speak blessings over your workplace, your workmates and your work process.
The Biblical instruction of blessing your small beginnings opens the door for wisdom and good fruits. Per James 3:16, its envy and strife that open the door to disorder and every evil practice. The Greek word for practice refers to setting up shop or an operation. It is similar to the way we use the word practice to refer to a doctor’s or lawyer’s practice. When we become disgruntled on a job, human nature takes us to complaining, worrying, neglecting or being bitter. We feel those things, focus on those things, think about those things and eventually act out of those things. We literally can take a bad situation to worse because we actually invite demonic activity to set up shop and have an on-going operation in our situation. Ug!
At the root of envy and strife is a mindset that says “God is not actually big enough to take care of me or to hold my place in the world. He does it for others and I want what they have but He just isn’t capable or won’t decide to take care of me.”
That mindset is simply a lie. Philippians tells us that God supplies our need according to His Glory or according to the way He thinks. Jeremiah 29:11 clearly reminds us that God thinks of us. When we shut the door to the envy and strife that come from false mindsets, we open the door to blessings from Heaven: wisdom, peace, mercy, and good fruit (James 3).
Jesus understands our situations. In the natural, Jesus had a not-so-glamorous job. It was short-term temporary, just a three year assignment. He didn’t have a corner office, in fact, no office at all. No vacation time. His co-workers were inconsistent in their performance, complained quite often and frequently missed their cues. One was even embezzling! Much of what He had to say fell on deaf ears. He endured prejudice. When people found out where he grew up, they sneered that “nothing good could come from Nazareth.” He was held back from assignments because people said he wasn’t qualified. And then when he did do something worthwhile, he got no credit, only criticism. It was the wrong day or the wrong person or he had overstepped his job description. Just who did he think he was?
So, how did Jesus handle this? He did what the Father told him to do. He said what the Father told him to say. He went where the Father told him to go. (John 5:19-20) He focused on the Father’s business. That focus gave him great contentment and confidence. Where is your focus today?
For this article, Sandra Gilmore draws from her twenty-year career in employee relations and job performance coaching. She and her husband, Tom, share their best role and favorite God-given job assignment: coaching their two teenage daughters via home school.