Labor of Love or Love of Labor?

laborRevelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.”

They worked tirelessly without growing weary. They endured hardship after hardship for the sake of Christ. They persevered when others folded. They fearlessly exposed hypocrisy in the church, unswerving in their dedication to truth. What a resume! The Early church at Ephesus set an example for all of us who would be a part of the Body of Christ in future years. Except for one little glitch……

They forgot why they were doing what they were doing. Their initial love for Jesus waned to the point they loved the work of being a Christian more than they loved Christ. Turns out it was more than a small glitch. The Lord warned them if they didn’t repent they would lose their light.

Forgetting our first love is a slippery slope. It can happen in almost any area of life….

It occurs in marriages when husbands and wives become so engrossed in the duties of family life, they no longer cultivate the love that first drew them together. The relationship begins a slow death but they’re so consumed with the “work” of it they hardly notice.

It happens in causes we fight for. We begin with a deep concern for victims of injustice, poverty or abuse. We work hard to see wrongs righted, but if we’re not careful, the cause itself consumes our love. It happens to politicians who begin with a desire to serve people, but let their hearts be stolen by the political process. It happens to missionaries on the mission field. To teachers, to social workers, to nurses. It happens whenever our motivation moves from being a labor of love to loving the labor.

Does any of this describe you? If so, the Apostle John brings good news. You can get off that slippery slope.

Repent! Then intentionally go back and do the things you used to do to reignite the flame. If your love for Jesus is fading, return to the Word that once breathed life into your faith. Pray with the simple intention of drawing near to him.  Forgive those you’ve begrudged. Tear down the idols of your good works and lay them at the cross of grace.

Love your labor, yes…. but love the One you labor for more.







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