A Pay Plan We Can Live With

"May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."  Ruth 2:12

Good morning!  If the people in your organization were privately polled today what would they say about your work habits, attitude, and overall reputation?  What are the qualities that would surface in conversation if they conveyed their experiences with and perceptions of you?

Ruth was a woman whose work ethic and reputation spoke clearly.  Things had not gone well for her.  Tragically, she had been widowed as a young lady.  Furthermore, she lived in a foreign country.  In compassion and love she had assumed reponsibility for her mother-in-law, Naomi, who was also a widow.  It would have been much easier to have returned to her native country and family but Ruth loved her deceased husband's mother and would not abandon her.  Moreover, she was not one to sit back and wait on her "ship" to come in or just hope that something would come along. Showing great initiative she went out into the fields to work.  In her culture it was mostly men who worked in the fields so her workday may have been socially awkward not to mention the demands of physical labor.  In the throes of such difficulties, Ruth could have turned bitter.  She had no idea (like we do now) that God was using all this to set the stage for something amazing.  In time, Boaz noticed her unusual work habits and the spirit she portrayed and he inquired as to who she was. In the end, he married Ruth and it was through her bloodline that the Messiah would be born many generations later! 

Perhaps things in your life are difficult today.  Personally, maybe things are not well with you.  Relative to work, how are you responding?  Looking to Ruth, this great woman of faith, we find helpful hints.  First, be an initiator.  Ruth didn't quit and she didn't wait on someone else to provide a solution.   Perhaps today is a good time to be the initiator in your work location.  Take on some things that have been left undone that you thought someone else ought to do.  Do them yourself instead of waiting on others.  Second, show compassion for those around you.  Instead of turning inward and focusing on her own losses, Ruth zeroed in on her mother-in-law's needs and went to work meeting them.  It's easy to get stuck in a work world where you only take care of yourself and forget the needs of others around you.  Look around today.  Who is waiting on your outstretched arm of love and encouragement?  Let compassion be your guide and assess the needs of others then do something to help them.  Third, keep a positive spirit.  Ruth's own mother-in-law, Naomi, had turned somewhat bitter. (Naomi means pleasant but in 1:20 she tellls Ruth to call her "Mara"  which means bitter.)  There is no demand for bitterness in the workplace but a pleasant spirit is well-received and appreciated by nearly everyone.  Let your faith and hope in Christ drive your positive outlook.  Additionally, be a hard worker.  Ruth was not afraid to engage headlong in her work out in the fields.  Are you jumping in with both feet this morning?  Refuse to take shortcuts and the easy ways out.  Be known as the one who commits to the job and is relentless in doing it well and with all your heart until it is complete.  Finally, sacrifice for others in your workplace.  For Ruth, it was all about  Naomi.  She must have longed for her parents and her native land (v. 11) but she stayed with Naomi as a result of her heart of sacrifice.

Today's Workplace Challenge:  Work with these kinds of principles in place!  Your reputation will be strong and noteworthy and your Christian influence will be effective.  God rewards this kind of work ethic.  The spiritual compensation is rich.  As Boaz said to Ruth prophetically, "May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge."   Now that's a pay plan we can all live with!  Have a great Monday as you labor in your "field" for the Lord!  Make today count for His Glory!