How to Protect Your Work From Loss

The pit of my stomach rehashed my loss. I replayed the scenario chiding myself for not being more assertive. I’d told the Apple tech my computer stored all of my talks, articles, manuscripts, records—and much more. “Please don’t wipe it clean unless you know my backup has them.”

He glanced at the back-up and said, “You’re fine.”

“You can see the files?” I pressed.

“You’re good. Your files will be back in two hours,” he said.

Ten techs and as many days later, no one had been able to retrieve my files. The tech at another company listened to my story and pointed to a poster that reminded everyone to “back up your backup.” Where had this warning been when I needed it?

Our Work Will Be Tested

It hurts to lose your work. Even burning a home-cooked meal stings. The Bible warns us against the pain of loss.

If anyone builds on this foundation [Jesus Christ] using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames” (1 Cor. 3:12-15 NIV).

Paul was writing to a problem-filled church. These believers squabbled over all sorts of things. He wrote, “I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1 NIV).

These immature believers continued to employ the same worldly tactics (wood, hay, and straw) they’d used before knowing Christ. Their strategies caused turmoil in life and loss at the end of the age. How can we avoid their errors?

How to Create Work That Lasts

One day, God will test our work too. He’ll reward the gold, silver, and costly stones. But the wood, hay and straw will burn up. What constitutes “gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw” today? Jesus shows us.

  • “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:13-14 NIV).
  • “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear” (Lk. 21:33 NLT).
  • “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (Jn. 6:63 NASB).

God rewards Christ-centered, Word-grounded, and Spirit-powered work. Here are some questions to ask when we’re in doubt.

  • Does this project, conversation, or relationship honor Christ?
  • Do my choices and strategies align with the Word—or the world?
  • Am I working in the power of the Holy Spirt or striving through self-effort?

Work That Produces Happy Endings

Flesh and faith battled while I waited on my computer. My flesh replayed “if only” and “what if.” But faith whispered, “Trust God. What if this loss will bring Him glory? Isn’t that your life goal?

After two weeks of waiting, I received the call to pick up my computer. Butterflies flitted through my stomach as I drove to the shop, but peace filled my heart. A young tech handed me my computer and asked me to go through my files. He’d manually retrieved all he could salvage.

My most important files were there!

My computer saga showed me the agony that accompanies loss. God used it to remind me that how I live determines the value of what I do. Loving people and honoring Him in everyday life is my most important work. And that work will sparkle through eternity.

How I live determines the value of what I do. Loving people and honoring God in everyday life is my most important #work. #faith Share on X

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Three 2020 Fall Bible Studies to Equip Women

Final week to register.

  • Little Women, Big GodThe women in Jesus’ genealogy faced big problems with little power, but they discovered a bigger God. This fall, I’ll be leading an eleven-week online study for women on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST on Little Women, Big God. September 15 we’ll kick off by going through the introduction and personality test. Contact me to sign up or learn more. Let’s focus on our Big God together!
  • Give Yourself a BreakCould there be a better time to learn how to enter God’s rest? Ginny Wilson will be leading a ten-week study through Give Yourself a Break on Thursday evenings beginning September 17th, 2020. They will meet from 7 to 8:30 p.m. EST. You can join locally or tune in through zoom. Contact us to sign up or learn more.”
  • Little Faith, Big God: Let the ordinary people from Hebrews 11 show you how to live strong and finish well. Denita M. Thomas from God 1st Ministries will be leading an online group through Little Faith, Big God on Thursday evenings from 7-8:15 EST beginning September 17, 2020. You can register online at Registration Deadline: September 13, 2020

Photo by XPS on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #WorthBeyondRubies #TuneinThursaday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. Melissa Henderson

    Very scary to know files might be lost. Thank you for the reminder that our most important work is honoring God and loving others.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, that has happened to me twice now where my back-up said it was working but one time it hadn’t been for a few months, and the other time it was there but couldn’t be retrieved without the patience of this tech moving them one at a time! I believe we can turn mundane tasks into God-honoring worship through our motivation and attitude.

  2. Michele Morin

    Oh, ugh!
    Felt this one in my gut, Debbie!
    So grateful for the reminder and for the happy ending!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Michele. It was a severe test for me!

  3. J.D. Wininger

    I have a whole bag of USB drives that allow me to maintain four sets of backups. I learned many years ago, back when we used punch cards and reel-to-reel tapes to store data on mini-computers. I use a Grandfather-Father-Son method; and include full system-level backups monthly, I also keep them in a fireproof safe, and maintain the monthly ones off-site. You might say I’m a little affected by OCD. Just a little. 🙂 As for protecting our “Investments in Eternity”, your self-check tips are wonderful. My greatest fear is that when I stand before the Bema seat, I have nothing left to lay at the foot of my Savior in repayment for all He has done for my life. Loved, loved, loved this post Ms. Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      J. D. you are wise. I had a friend who had his computer and two backups die on the same day. Can you believe it? I use a few now. Thankfully, God has a better backup for the work that pleases Him.

  4. Katherine Pasour

    It’s a scary thought–to lose all the work that we have striven so hard to create–so glad you got most of yours back. I love your quote, “God rewards Christ-centered, Word-grounded, and Spirit-powered work” and the questions you framed to help us know how to judge our work. Your message gives us hope to inspire our work for our Lord and and wisdom to check our motives.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Katherine. It helps to know that whatever happens to our work here, if it pleased Him it was not wasted.

  5. Joanna Eccles

    Praise the Lord that He redeems and restores. We do need to ask if we are doing things that last and matter for eternity and ensuring that what we build our life with is what matters. Thanks for sharing.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Joanna!

  6. Mary Geisen

    I love the computer analogy and how to create work that lasts. Blessings!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Mary!

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