“There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about where you work.” Unattributed.
I wondered just how many millions of men, women and youth really think that the key to superior performance is getting a better job. One of the mind numbing realities of modern life is that many have to work at jobs that are light years removed from their natural ability, and personal preferences. When this is true, most perform beneath their ability and hate most every minute.
Still others would perform in a more excellent manner if the boss was not such a jerk. Modern business spends fortunes in an often vain attempt to teach the boss how to exchange his jerk coat for the mantle of a servant leader. Still, you have to understand that in this Vale of Tears in which we all labor there are no perfect jobs or bosses, or places. Get used to it.
When people are performing below par, they lack that sense that comes from having given their best.
In still other circumstances the company is less than ideal. A poor financial package, sub-par retirement or a generally decadent morale program can stifle outstanding performance.
Often while I am shaving or doing other things associated with getting with it early in the morning, as I behold the mirror image of what’s left of my former self, I ask myself the question I have asked many counselees over the years, “For whom are you working?” The answers run the gamut, from “Well, actually myself.” “The company.” “The wife and kids.” The list goes on.
If you are a Christian all of the above answers are incorrect. According to the scripture we Christians are working with the Lord in whatever field or factory He has placed us. The work at hand is God’s work for you at the present. You may attempt to prayerfully get other work, or your own business without incurring the wrath of God, but you cannot slough off in your present work without running the risk of serious chastening from the Lord who expects your best, not only for production, but for witness effectiveness.
A person who runs around with a pencil behind their ear and a Sears size Bible in their hand and is sloppy in their work ethic is a poor testimony to the grace of God. Solomon said it this way in part; Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;” Solomon gave the wrong reason for this, but the New Testament clears up the why. It is a great motivator to excellence when we really get our head wrapped around the truth of the name of our employer. Paul covered this principle well when he penned the following in the Epistle to the Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:5 “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.”
The worker is to understand his/her obligation before God with a good attitude while doing whatever service is on his plate. Bosses are warned to understand that they will give account to God Himself for their handling of the workers entrusted to them.
For many years the above was called the Protestant Work Ethic and it served our country well.
When I was little in what would today be called a dysfunctional family, I did have one idea driven into my soul, that I later found to be consistent with the Bible. I can still hear the voice of my departed mother, often with a tone of desperation saying, “Larry, you are going to have to learn the world does not owe you a living.” May I say that only willfully ignorant politicians would ever tell you anything different?
Notice what God says concerning the miraculous rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem under the leadership of Nehemiah in the book of the same name: Nehemiah 4:6 “So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.”
The ability to work and a place to work are gifts from God. Use the gift with a thankful attitude and a heart for excellence, keeping mind the saying from a prison wall:
“There is always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there is not a choice about where you work.”
Copyright © 2014 Larry Lilly
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