As we think about the daily work in which we are involved, we should always look for ways to assist others while making an impact through the labor that God has given each of us to do. It does not really matter what your occupation is, what matters most is the impact that you can have helping yourself so that you can help others.
As we think about helping others through our labor, in today’s Wisdom-Trek newsletter, I want to share a story that I read from a daily email I receive from www.mikeysfunnies.com.
There were two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding, and it grew into a major difference. And finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John’s door.
He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I’m looking for few days work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us, and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, an 8-foot fence so I won’t need to see his place anymore. Cool him down, anyhow.
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge – a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work – handrails and all; and the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done,” said the younger brother.
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, hugging. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I’ve a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build.”
As you consider your work, don’t build walls that will isolate you from others, instead be a builder of bridges that unite others.
As the Apostle Paul told the Colossian church in Chapter 3:13, “Make allowance for each other’s faults,and forgive anyone who offends you.” Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.