The secret to loving your job
It is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. 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. Ecclesiastes 5:18,19
Norman F. Burger Jr.
Labor Day is coming up. What is your field of labor? Do you love it?
SATISFIED WITH YOUR JOB?
According to a 2013 Gallup poll, that’s not likely. Seventy percent of those surveyed either hate their jobs or are completely disengaged. Not even incentives and extras—like workout facilities, nap rooms, child care, free lunches and massages—change these negative perspectives.
Their complaints reflect why so many people hate their jobs. The boss is a jerk. The people they work with are jerks. They’re unappreciated and underpaid. They come to work only because they need the money and not because it is what they want to do. The job stresses them out, frustrates, exhausts, or bores them.
Maybe that sounds a little like your complaints. If you dwell on those negatives, you end up hating your job. If you hate your job, you become bitter, angry, or depressed. Then it is hard to be the husband, wife, parent, friend, or neighbor God wants you to be. It is hard to be a light in this world when you’re the grumpy malcontent at work. And that is not good.
SATISFIED IN YOUR LABORS FOR THE LORD
God wants us to have a different perspective. It’s good, he says, for us to find “satisfaction in our toilsome labor.” Why is that so hard?
Sometimes you and I have an unrealistic expectation for our lot in life, work included. Who works with only fantastic people, for great pay, doing what they love, and goes home every day completely fulfilled and appreciated? Do we forget what God told Adam after he disobeyed? “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. . . . By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food” (Genesis 3:17-19). It will always be so. And as sinners, it is what we deserve.
But you know something different. You know what your lot in life is through your baptism. Your boss may be a jerk, but God is your loving Father. You may not be appreciated at work, but God considers you his dear child. Your pay may be meager, but you are wealthy beyond imagination in the unfailing love of God, the forgiveness of all your sins, and the promise of heaven in Jesus. And this is all due to the grace of God. To see all of life from that perspective is a gift from God and a blessing of faith.
Through faith in Jesus, happily trust that your God of grace has given you the job, income, and life he wants you to have. Don’t live an unhappy life of unfulfilled longing for what you think you deserve or wish you had. Happily trust that God has you in exactly the right place right now where he has determined you can best serve others and share the difference Jesus makes in your life. Thank God for making you his child by happily going to work and doing your job as his grateful, content, and faithful child in Christ.
Contributing editor Norman Burger is pastor at Shepherd of the Hills, Lansing, Michigan.
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Author: Norman F. Burger Jr.
Volume 101, Number 8
Issue: August 2014
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