How can you get the most out of your work? Here are three suggestions.
1. View yourself as a servant.
Jesus came to earth not to be served, but to serve—and He instructed us to adopt the same attitude (Matt. 20:25–28). Paul wrote, “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord” (Col. 3:22).
If Paul told slaves to do their work heartily (and they received no paycheck), then what about the rest of us who do get paid? “Well, they don’t pay me nearly enough,” you may say. Okay, perhaps you are not paid adequately—but taking longer lunch hours, clocking out early, or coming in late is not the way to even things out. If you are compensated for eight hours, you need to give eight full hours. Why? Because you are a servant of God, and as His representative, you have a responsibility to do good work.
Besides, the best pathway to promotion is servanthood. Whoever wants to be a leader must adopt an attitude of humility (Mark 9:35). A prideful employee is seldom seen as a candidate for promotion. Instead, it is the humble, godly worker who diligently labors that management sees as leadership material. Never doubt the impact of your attitude on everyone around you—the boss included!
But who’s your real employer? That leads us to our second suggestion.
2. Realize that you work for the Lord Himself.
Your employer exercises supervisory authority over you, but Jesus Christ is your Lord. You work for Him: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col. 3:23).
If you are a Christian, Jesus Christ is the supervisor at your place of work—and He not only watches you from afar, He’s right there with you. You and I need to give a full day’s labor, regardless of whether we think management is fair. Jesus is ultimately the One we serve, and He’s always on site. You and I should do our very best because the Holy Spirit is present, equipping, and energizing us.
We make a terrible mistake by segmenting life. We may think that Monday through Friday we go to work, Saturday we play, and Sunday we worship. God has not designed life that way. If Jesus Christ is our Savior, we can’t exclude Him from any part of life. It isn’t right to teach a Sunday school class with everything we have, then meander into work the rest of the week—we must honor and glorify Him in everything we do. It eliminates the temptation of doing our work merely to be seen by men when we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Jesus (Matt. 6:24).
Do I mean that your mundane job is also the Lord’s work? Yes! Ministry is not just what you do at church. You worship God every day of the week—on Sunday, you do so in church; on Monday through Friday, you show your devotion to Him by doing a good job at work. Your exalted status as a child of God dignifies your labor, and your office or place of employment should be better off because you are there.
You serve the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:24). Do you have a good testimony in the marketplace for Him? Are you one of your company’s most faithful employees because you serve God? Does your attitude reflect the joy you have in considering Him the real CEO?
3. Realize your pay comes both now and hereafter.
Paul wrote, “From the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:24). Of course, you must get paid now to take care of your household expenses. But if you have done your very best and given all you have, you will never really get paid all you are worth. The wonderful thing to remember is this: you may get insufficient wages here, but you will get rewarded beyond measure in heaven. God will much more than equalize everything in the Judgment (1 Cor. 3:11–15; 2 Cor. 5:9-10; Eph. 6:7-8), and He will certainly reward you justly.
Do you see yourself as a servant? Do you consider Him your real Boss and work in a manner honoring to the Lord, no matter how menial or boring your job might seem? Have you realized that you have a tremendous reward coming later for faithful labor performed now? If so, you are getting the most out of your work.
Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.
This post is a part of the series Life Principles to Live By.