Working for Free: Do What You Love, Love What You Do

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Working For Free

“If you do what you love and love what you do, you’ll never go to work another day in your life.”

When I came across that quote I fell in love with it. It hasn’t happened for me just yet; not in my career anyway. God has brought, and is bringing me closer to the work I love and loving the work. Will it get to be a zero-sum game? Will I ever work and not get paid and love it so much I keep it up? Let me share my personal vision and the results.

My college degrees are in Bible and ancient languages, and I thought it would be the utmost service to God and His people to preach without having to get paid. I could serve and not have to charge for it I could offer my preparation, scholarship, acumen and intelligence to small groups of God’s people anywhere and everywhere. I could. Then it hit me that all of that servant leadership and humility were self-centered. The life we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God, not ourselves (Gal. 2:20). “I” had to die to those self-interests and ambitions. Instead, my career has been almost forty years in retail. My vision of building wealth and preaching for free was a vapor.

Hindsight brings perspective

Thirty-five years, three companies, and ten jobs later, hindsight brings a little perspective and wisdom to the man who would be so selfless and magnanimous in serving without being paid. Twice, I was privileged to preach in my own church when we were between pastors. For thirty years I have taught Sunday School. Short-term music minister and choir director, church treasurer, deacon, and pulpit committee member have rounded out my past thirty years at the same church. Our small flock has been as many as two hundred and as few as fifteen. Our family has cleaned the church a few times, and about three times I played the piano.

It’s not a list of accomplishments, contributions or volunteer hours. It’s a list of rewards and privileges. It’s a tribute to God’s people for putting up with it and me! It’s a shining of God’s grace and gifts through an otherwise hapless incompetent. Don’t view your church attendance as “Oh no, I’ve GOT to go to church.” Praise God and say “Today I GET to go to church.”

The homily in this is not profound, but it isn’t easy. Go to church. Go to church every Sunday and Wednesday and every activity that you can. Go to work in the church. Give of your time Volunteer your talents and abilities. Get your family involved. Take your spouse and children to a workday. Carry the family to a rest home service. Tell the pastor he can count on you, and then show the greatest ability—dependability.

Why? Because with stewards it is the highest priority that one be faithful (I Cor. 4:2). Why? Because the rewards will satisfy more than money. Why? Because you will learn that the things which are seen are temporal (II Cor. 4:18), and those things you store up here are susceptible to moths and corruption (Mt. 6:19-20), but your investment of time, talent and treasure in those “things above” (Col. 3:1) will return eternal rewards. You just might look around and discover that you are loving what you do and doing what you love!

Working for Free

In this series, Working for Free, we'll take a look at the different ways people navigate the world of working in a job they love, even when it might not be the way they make ends meet. Join the discussion or share your story in the comments. What do you think? Is passion enough?