When work feels like work
Work is a big part of our lives.
We all get 168 hours a week. Based on a 2015 Bureau of Labor report most people spend around 40 of those hours at work. Once you add in all the commute time, work takes up a lot of your time.
So needless to say you want it to at least be something you enjoy.
But as I’ve experienced, that’s not always the case. You either have a horrible work environment, boss, or task that makes your work life miserable. Often times, when this is the case, complaining and gossiping seems to be the easiest thing to do. But negative attitudes are never a good way to respond, especially for followers of Christ.
So as a Christian how do you respond?
Here are some verses that I think will help you as you prayerfully seek God for specific direction in your situation.
Don’t forget who you really work for
Colossians 3:22 (ESV) Slaves (workers), obey in everything those who are your earthly masters (bosses), not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. (Parenthesis are mine)
Your job situation can get difficult at times for reasons that are out of your control. But you must never forget who you really work for. At the end of it all, God is the one you will have to give an account to for everything you did and didn’t do.
You live to please one person
Colossians 3:23 (ESV) Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Your motives play a big role in how you act and react to work. If your goal is to please those around you, your attitude will fluctuate with their approval and disapproval.
If those you seek to please are giving you pats on the back you are happy if they don’t notice then your upset. And eventually, all the ups and downs will make you sick – sick of work.
But you live to please one person and that is God. God sees it all. Nothing goes unnoticed and He will reward you one day for all your faithful work.
You have a job to fulfill
1 Timothy 5:8 (ESV) But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Your job situation might not be ideal but there’s more at stake than your present emotional state. Just because you’re not happy at work doesn’t mean you can just up and quit without a gameplan. There are people that depend on you.
God has an expectation – provide for those in your care.
If the situation is too toxic to stay in, stay in it long enough to find something else. Don’t let a present spike in anger cause you to make a rash decision.
There might be a lesson to be learned
Titus 3:1 (ESV) Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work,
I think most of us struggle with authority. Not many people like to submit and that’s a prie issue.
Maybe God is trying to use your work or your employer to mold you into the person that He wants you to be. He wants you to be submissive and obedient to those who have authority over you regardless if you like them. ( and just a side note, this goes all the way to the top – President, Queen, King or whoever controls the affairs of your country)
Does your decision Glorify God
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV) Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Sometimes, there’s an opportunity to glorify God in your situation. Things might be tough and you can shine God’s light in this darkness.
Maybe you’re being treated unfairly or not being recognized for all your hard work. You have skills and abilities that could definitely get you a job somewhere else but you choose to stick it out because you know your decision will instigate curiosity in people and allow you to share with them why you made that decision and where your hope is.
In those decisions and circumstances, God gets the glory.
There is a blessing
Psalm 128:2 (ESV) You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
You will be blessed.
It might just be the blessing of joy because you stuck it out when you didn’t think you could. Or it might be simply the blessing of knowing that you are providing for your family through the hard work you hard.
Either way, work is meant to bless you. Work is not a curse it is a gift from God. Yes, it has been distorted and broken because of sin but it is still a good thing.
Don’t settle for complaining and walking around with a bitter attitude instead prayerfully read the verses listed. God wants to bless you and He wants you to be a blessing through your work