workWork and Junk for Jesus

I work at a mission school—in the United States. Three-fourths of our budget comes from generous donors who believe in what we do to bring hope and healing to Native American young people.

Occasionally, though, we have to deal with Junk for Jesus. A friend of mine who worked at a hospital in Haiti for two years shared the term with me a few years ago as we compared mission stories.

“When we arrived, they promised us a small apartment, but someone had filled it with junk for Jesus and we’ve been living in a dorm room our entire stay.”

“Junk for Jesus?” I asked. “I’ve never heard of it!”

“You know,” she replied, Band Aids that won’t stick any more, naked dolls with no eyes, and clothes with so many holes they won’t even work as rags.”

“Ah,” I replied. “We have lots of Junk for Jesus at our school, too. Broken bicycles, granny dresses from the 40s, books with missing pages, and several tons of discarded textbooks.”

Somewhere along the way, Christians have come up with the idea that instead of bringing our junk to Jesus for healing, he wants us to give him our junk so we don’t have to pay to leave it at the dump.

Jesus wants us to work for him with a cheerful heart—and to give from our abundance, not our trash barrel. Click To Tweet

People in Glass Castles Shouldn’t Throw Stones

workI rail at the waste in postage or manpower that delivering junk for Jesus to missions entails. But I often offer Jesus my junk job instead of my honest work.

The church wants me to teach a children’s class? I won’t commit because I already work with kids. “That’s like asking the doctor to give a free clinic after church,” I grumble. I begrudgingly agree, but don’t put my heart into it because I think I don’t have time.

When the yearly nominating committee convenes, I make sure I know the members so I can avoid their phone calls. They can’t ask me if I don’t answer. Guilt nips at my ankles, and I can only fend it off by dropping to my knees.

Colossians 3:23-25 convicts me that I should do all of my work—whether for the school, my family, or the church—for God’s glory. When I give, I need to give from the abundance of my heart, not the trash barrel of my bad attitude.

Nominating Committee, I’ve got your number, and this time, I’ll make the call!

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  1. Thank you Anita. I appreciate your honest story. I struggle with balance and often have to remind myself God wants me to minister to my family as well as those who read my blog or those whom I meet while speaking.
    Have a blessed Friday, Julie
    Julie Dibble recently posted…Missing His Work: A PoemMy Profile

  2. Love this. Nominating committees always get the hard job because many, I believe, are like you. I’ll bet they love you calling them instead of them calling you. I’m in the 33 spot this week!

  3. For several years I kept a sign by my desk at school with the scripture about doing everything as unto the Lord. Thanks for the gentle reminder that maybe I should put it by new desk.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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