If we were to meet for coffee and talk about your job, what would we talk about? Would you tell me how much you like your co-workers? Would you mention how it really irritates you when your boss drops a huge request on you as you’re about to head out for lunch? Maybe you would talk about something that’s really stressing you out at work.
As we sip our coffee, we’d probably have a great conversation, but my hunch is you wouldn’t bring up one of the biggest things you think about when it comes to your job.
Odds are, you might not enjoy your job all that much and you’re hoping someday to find work you love. Until then you have bills to pay and your job is the best option for income right now. However, through the everyday hum of life, you’ve wondered if God cares that you’re in a job you don’t particularly like. We know He cares about the big things in life like health problems and who you choose to marry, but does He care if you like your job?
If we scratch the surface a little more, perhaps the underlying concern is the fear that God doesn’t care about the suffering of a sort that you’re going through in a job you don’t like. You may be thinking, “if God cares, then why hasn’t He provided me with a job I like yet?”
There aren’t always easy answers to these types of questions. However, the Bible gives us some insight as to how God wants us to view work. According to the writer of Ecclesiastes, there’s no better experience in this life than to enjoy food, drink and work. In Ecclesiastes 2:24 and 5:18-20 the writer says finding enjoyment in those things is a gift from God.
God apparently wants you to enjoy your work and provides this enjoyment as a gift. So this begs the question, how can you enjoy your work when you’re stuck with this lousy job right now?
We get a little more insight about God’s view of our work in the New Testament. In Colossians 3:23 it says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” In other words, whatever type of work you’re doing, God wants you to do it with all your heart. Not sluffing off, not giving the bare minimum, but playing all out and giving it everything you have. That’s how God wants you approach your job, regardless of whether or not you actually like it.
Let’s face it, some of us are lazy and we don’t always want to give it our all. So where do you get the motivation to work with all your heart? Continue reading in Colossians 3:24. “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive an inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” The motivation comes from knowing there’s a reward for those who serve Christ.
So whether you’re sweeping floors, fixing cars, or analyzing stock data, God wants you to do it to the best of your ability to serve Him. He not only cares about your level of enjoyment with your work, He deeply cares how and why you do your work. So the motivation to work hard comes from understanding there is something more at play than just your day to day job. There’s a higher purpose for your work.
In addition, God wants us to be good stewards of all He has given us. This includes the abilities He’s provided to do our work. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) Jesus speaks about two types of people. Those who use their abilities for God and those who don’t. God has given you the abilities, skills and talents you possess. As a result, He wants you to use them in a way that honors and glorifies Him.
However, you can choose work that is in alignment with the talents and skills God has given you and He lets you decide how best to use those abilities in your career. The good news is those abilities can serve as a guide to doing enjoyable work. In my experience, when you do work that uses your God given talents and abilities, your level of enjoyment goes up.
Going back to our coffee conversation, I hope we would talk about the question you’re not asking and you would realize the answer is yes. God cares if you like your job. He wants you to enjoy your work and cares about why and how you do your job. When your focus is to use the abilities He’s provided to you and your attitude is one of service toward Him, you’ll find enjoyment not so far away.