Let me introduce you to my friend, John, one of the most likable people you will ever meet. He walks happy and you would never have known he was discontent with his job. However, John describes his work life as miserable. He is restless with the day-to-day job duties and it has eroded into his overall performance. He is living for evenings and weekends.
John had ended a career in the food industry in hopes that a new desk job with structured hours would bring more fulfillment. Unfortunately, John found himself in a difficult situation with a tough supervisor. John has struggled with the meaning of work for the last few years. He tells us, he felt stuck, he had no ambition and was working the bare minimum.
John tells us,
Consistently, I would cry out in anger at God for keeping me in this position. I would often tell people this descriptive story that I knew God had a plan for me at one time in my life, but I fell off the train and couldn’t catch back up to it. And so, away it chugged along into the sunset, getting smaller and smaller with me left stranded next to the tracks. That’s how I truly felt.
In our church, at the time, we were studying the First Principles of the Faith. What it required for our families to be grounded and established in God’s word. Here is an excerpt of my exact notes from my Apply the Principles:
I believe the part that I need to grow on / build deeply into my life is somewhat related to Titus 3:1.
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy towards all people.”
While I am not sure that this is exactly what he is referring to in this passage, what hits me the hardest is my attitude towards my job. I don’t feel at all passionate about what I do- I loathe going to work most days and cannot wait for 5 pm to come around so I can go home. Recently, this has caused me to do the absolute least work necessary to get by. I got convicted by this passage a few weeks ago when we initially read it, realizing that it is not Godly to not respect the job I have been given and to not give them “a fair day’s work”, regardless of how much I love my job. It also dawned on me that I could be there for a reason and that by not doing my job passionately and with a good attitude, I could very well be missing someone who I am supposed to minister to.
At the same time, I was studying with other men in our church about my role as a man. One of the chapters was on your work. It was framed differently than I had heard in the past – it focused far less on what your work was than how you did your work. I have always heard the repetitive, annoying platitudes of “finding work that makes you feel happy” and “work somewhere that you enjoy, so you don’t work a day in your life”. These all made me angry because it was coming from people who somehow magically found their dream jobs early, or they were over-simplified in their explanation of finding this “dream job” as if it was just as easy as choosing a different outfit in the morning. God was revealing to me that I needed to focus on how I worked, not where I worked. Everything you do, you are to do it in service to God. Wherever you work or whoever you serve, you are to do it with a servant’s heart for God.
I understood scripture in a whole new way, and I had a change of heart around how I viewed my work. God doesn’t command us to work hardest and with the right attitude once we have our dream job; he wants us to be obedient and work to our fullest for him, regardless of what work we are required to do. I felt convicted about how I had been approaching my work over the past year; even though I still did the basic requirements of my position, my mindset was poisonous and my heart was not in the right place. The transition was difficult but I knew I had to work hard and do it with the right attitude because I was working for the Lord.
John changed his whole outlook on life. He became a committed, hard worker who was serving as unto the Lord in his workplace. By God’s grace, John was offered a new position just a few months after this story took place. A position in a new organization with great people. One where he can use his gifts and be honored because of his work ethic.
John said, “ this process showed me that your heart has to be in the right place in order for you to truly fulfill your potential. If you are relying on your surroundings for satisfaction, instead of finding it in the Lord, you will surely be disappointed. I was.”
John’s story is one of many. Men and women like John are not only growing in their biblical understanding of their work, but taking measurable steps to apply it to their life. John applied what he learned from scripture and dug in deep to change and God provided a new opportunity. At the City Church Network (CCN), we believe the church is at the center of God’s purpose for building His kingdom. We aim to train leaders of leaders who are established and can establish others in the Kerygma (proclamation) and the Didache (Teaching) so that many Johns of the world can be transformed by the application of the truth of scripture. CCN is equipping Churches to train people just like John all over Central Arkansas to learn and apply the scriptures. John is one member of one church who is making a difference, but there are many more to go. You could be next! Click the button below to learn more: