Work Weary?

I remember when I dreaded Monday. For Monday was drill down day at work. This was when everyone I served with had to get on a conference call, report team numbers and be prepared to address a flurry of questions. Not so bad, but the call was purposely structured to be more like an interrogation, rather than a collaboration. So, not only was preparing for this particular call grueling, but no one knew who was going to get setup as “the example” for that day. This was the person randomly selected to receive a particular harsh interrogation to help drive whatever point leadership wanted us all to understand. In fairness, we all got our turn and never knew which Monday would be our day. So, needless to say, everyone was on pins and needles and completely exhausted by noon. It also transformed others to adopt similar behaviors, and as a result, a cultural trend was being developed where many began leading their teams in similar ways. Not the best example of servant leadership, yet a powerful reality – for better, or worse, leadership style is contagious. 

Interestingly, I look back on that time in my work life with gratitude. For it taught me a lot about leadership, stress management and the power of prioritization. It was also during this same time I surrendered my life to Christ. So, I realize what a glorious time this truly was, despite its various hardships, and I’m truly thankful for the boss, the stress, the pressure and the quotas God used to get me where He desired me to be as a person. I also better understand the special place work has in our lives and how both the good and the bad experiences when surrendered to God add up to powerful blessings and benefits: 

Preparation: We not only acquire new skills and knowledge at work, but we also sharpen and improve the existing knowledge and skills we have. Thus, work develops us and helps prepare us for future opportunities, future hardships and even future blessings (Ephesians 2:10). Perhaps God has you where you are now to develop you for where He desires you to be? This is why we are to work as unto the Lord, give our best and trust He is in charge of our career and not man, or the world.  

 Platform: We also gain a platform at work. This platform allows us to glorify God by serving as positive influences to others. Granted, this platform is sometimes raised, or lowered by our performance, promotions and even demotions, but our attitude and perspective is always a choice. Thus, the higher we go, what type of example are we setting and when things don’t go our way, what type of example are we demonstrating? This is our leadership on display and influence at work. Thus, when handled Gods way, our work offers some of the greatest platforms we have to be “salt and light” in the workplace (Matthew 5:16). 

Provision: We clearly gain money from our work, which allows us to provide for our needs. Thus, this is a great benefit we receive from work. However, we must never see work as the primary source of our provision. Rather, God is our source and our job is simply a vehicle He chooses to help provide for our needs (Luke 12:24). Unfortunately, we often get this mixed up, as I once did. For if we’re not careful, we can begin to see our job as our source of security and identity and as a result risk making it a god, or idol in our life.    

Application: “Worship @ Work” – Colossians 3:23
Work can be hard, stressful and even painful at times. However, when we maintain a Godly perspective, we better understand the benefits we receive through all the circumstances work offers. This is not to say we are to remain in an abusive environment, or never seek advancement opportunities. However, it is vital we surrender our work life to God and seek His guidance and direction in all we do. This helps us avoid job hopping, chasing money, and ultimately making work the end all and be all of our lives. No doubt work is important, but it’s value rests in how God uses it to develop us, prepare us, offer us platforms for His glory, and help us provide for our families.

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