August 29, 2008
How Should You View Your Work?
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.
Colossians 3:23, NIV
Do you remember what you were thinking when you started your very first job?
Like me, you were probably excited about this new season in your life. The responsibilities. The business cards. The paycheck!!!
And then maybe several months later after toiling away in a dreary cubicle and getting your first "hand slap" from your boss, you might have felt differently. Reality set in. And you perhaps wondered if this was as good as it was going to get. For the next 40 or so years. Ugh.
I've been there, too, and have gone back and forth between viewing my work as a blessing and as a curse throughout my career. Has it been dependent on the job? Not really. More so on which way the wind is blowing. Yes, it's that scientific!
But seriously, as we prepare to observe Labor Day, it's good for us to pause and consider what is the proper way for us to view our work.
We first hear of the work concept in Genesis 3:17-19, and it is not a pretty picture:
Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Nice. It's going to be hard. We're going to perspire. And we might get stuck with sharp plants. But not all of the time. Ecclesiastes 5:19 paints work in a different light.
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God.
So our job satisfaction and our prosperity comes from the Lord. That is a good thing! It's not wrapped up in how much we make or how many perks we are afforded. God is the one who gives us the ability to enjoy whatever he has purposed for us in our careers. From ditch digger to Fortune 500 Co. president.
Backing up one book, let's don't forget about the original lady who could bring home the bacon and fry it up in the pan--the amazing Proverbs 31 woman. Multiple phrases in this chapter reference her work ...
... And works with eager hands.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Let her work bring her praise at the city gate.
What a fantastic example! Whether male or female, we should all strive to set such a high standard for ourselves whether in the workplace or in managing our families and homes.
Then, Colossians 3:23-24 gives us the ultimate perspective:
Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Yes, we all have an earthly boss (in various forms or fashions). But our Heavenly Superior is who matters most. We must first do that which glorifies him. And that means giving your best, every time and in every endeavor.
Whether you are working in an office or in the home today, choose how you will view the work God has entrusted to you this day and for the days (even if it's 40 years!) to come.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Is it time to rethink your current job? Or is God asking you to be content with where he has placed you? Spend some time writing out your thoughts. Ask him to give you a right attitude and perseverance as you serve him.