Work is a good thing that God has given all of us. Children work at school and do chores at home. Teenagers train in sports, while others get their first job. Adults work at raising kids, serving others, and running companies. Some of us go to work away from our homes, and some of us don’t. Some of us get paid to work, and some of us don’t. And some of us love our work, and some of us don’t. No matter what we do or how we work, God has given us this gift to provide for our families as well as to make a difference in the world.
While our work is a gift from God, sometimes we can develop an unhealthy relationship with it (just like with money). For example, some people overwork themselves to the point of burnout, which may lead to serious health issues. Other times, we may struggle with underworking, whether by choice or due to circumstances out of our control. Working hard and resting well are both incredibly valuable, but ultimately, we must find a better than normal viewpoint and work ethic when it comes to how much we produce.
Let’s take a look at the difference between what normal and better than normal can look like in our work lives:
- Normal finds its identity in a job, while better than normal knows who we are in Christ.
- Normal chooses workaholism, while better than normal knows when to say “no.”
- Normal accepts exhaustion, while better than normal values rest.
- Normal looks for ways to avoid difficult work, while better than normal perseveres.
- Normal sees what we do, while better than normal sees purpose in how we work.
- Normal does the bare minimum, while better than normal works with integrity.
The people who live on this planet are unique and diverse. Regardless of how we work, the point is that we choose to work hard at whatever we do. The best way to do this is to see ourselves working for God.
In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. (Colossians 3:23 NCV)
No matter what our work schedules and tasks look like, let’s consider Jesus to be our employer. Yes, we should work hard to do our jobs well and honor our earthly employers. But placing Jesus at the forefront of our minds is even better because we can then honor Him by working hard and resting well.
In what ways do you feel healthy, and in what ways should you make changes? Spend some time thinking through your work life.
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.Genesis 2:15
A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied.Proverbs 13:4
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.Galatians 6:9
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,Colossians 3:23
and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.1 Thessalonians 4:11-12