When I was in high school, I always looked forward to the day I’d start working and earning my own keep. Perhaps it was the feeling of financial independence that got me so inspired–buying my own car, going on little shopping trips without having to ask my parents for money and the sheer pleasure of working and being paid to do it.
The often-mentioned “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” by Confucius rings true for me even up to this day. I’ve spent my years in the corporate world, behind-the-scenes and on-cam work for television, music videos, teaching in the classroom and of course, radio broadcast. Although not every working day is perfect, I can sincerely say that there is joy in my heart as I go about my work tasks, even if these can be taxing at times.
WORK AS WORSHIP
When you learn to love your work and use it as form of worship to God, you begin to see past the hurdles, the stress and the difficult people you encounter. When you love your work, it shows! People gravitate towards you as they feel the energy you exude; it makes them want to do business with you. The way we conduct ourselves at work and the way we interact with our co-workers is a way for us to reflect the impact of Jesus in our lives. Anyone who’s been a true recipient of undeserved mercy cannot deny that their thoughts, actions and interactions would have the Holy Spirit’s manifestation.
WHY AM I HERE?
I hear a lot of people gripe about their job or express dissatisfaction with their bosses; while those concerns are valid, I think it would help if we take a step back and assess why we hold a certain position or work in the said company.
Take yourself back to the time that you applied for that job; you submitting your resume, getting the invitation for an interview and the HR manager congratulating you for joining the company. Yes, you nailed it! You got the job while others were lining up for it.
If you find yourself complaining of so much work to do why not pause and consider thanking God that you are capable of doing these tasks? You have arms, legs, hands, functional senses and a brilliant mind. The company (or the boss) thinks YOU CAN DO the tasks they assign to you because they believe in your capability.
VALUING WHAT YOU HAVE
We’ve heard many variations of the quote above; the most popular being that line from the song “Big Yellow Taxi” (You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone). Isn’t it so TRUE? You take something for granted and only realize it’s value once you lose it? It’s the same thing with valuing the work that you have. I’ve experienced working with people who seem to have lost genuine concern over their work. They detest the start of their work week and practically have to drag themselves to the office. They perform mediocre work yet demand so much and get too miffed about a little mistake on their monthly paychecks. Hanging out with employees like these really drain the energy out of you! One of them grouchy employees eventually got the boot and she just became more negative as the true value of what she lost (and complained about) dawned on her. There was no turning back as management saw the decline in her performance and the attitude she had towards work.
So how does one worship God through work?
PERFORMANCE: An employee who chooses to praise God through work performs at his/her best because God deserves the best! He does not deserve “left over service”
PEOPLE: An employee who chooses to praise God through work understands the difference in every co-worker’s character, background and life experiences. While this employee cannot completely run away from conflicts, he is able to maintain balance and civility by understanding where the other person is coming from and being the one who adjusts. This employee deals with people the way Jesus did–with love but firmness. Jesus ministered to people from different walks of life, He also came across the haughty Pharisees but Jesus did not start the fights with them. They’d insult or insinuate things, He’d respond in kindness but always stood His ground when it came to Scripture and doing the will of His Father.
PLACE OF WORK: An employee who chooses to praise God through work does not just show up to get paid. He exercises genuine concern over the workplace, makes sure it is clean and orderly, sees problems and actually does something about it. It doesn’t mean he solves it 100%, but he does not turn a blind eye to it, initiates and brings it up with the concerned parties for a solution to be formulated.
No matter what your job is, no matter how much you are paid and no matter who you work for, remember that your Main Boss is God and He is aware of everything.