In my law practice, I consult with people about their jobs, usually at a point when they are unhappy about their jobs. I know from studies I’ve seen that their situation is not unique. Some studies have shown that 2/3 of all Americans are unhappy with their jobs. Maybe you feel the same way.
Maybe you don’t like your supervisor or don’t think the company appreciates you. You may not think you are paid enough or that your last performance review was as good as your performance warranted. As a result, you may not look forward to going to work, and you may have trouble getting motivated to do your best.
We live in a fallen world and bad supervisors, greedy employers and discriminatory employment decisions exist in abundance. Your chances of avoiding them completely during your career are slim, which probably accounts for the 2/3 statistic. But a citizen of the kingdom of God can avoid becoming a statistic. The key is understanding for whom, as a Christian, you work.
The Apostle Paul said, “Whatever you do, do your work with all your heart, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.” (Colossians 3:23-24). In other words, as a Christian you work for King Jesus and you should perform your job as if He was your boss (because He is).
If you are doing your work primarily to please men (your supervisor, your company or others), you will inevitably be disappointed with their response. They will rarely appreciate you as much as you think you deserve and will often treat you in ways in which you do not deserve.
If, however, you are working primarily to please the Lord and are looking to Him for your reward, there are at least four good things that can happen.
1. Your work will be more excellent. After all, how can you be more motivated than when you are trying to impress Jesus?
2. You will work harder. You know the Lord sees all things, and if you are looking to Him for your reward, you will be motivated to give a better effort because you know the one you are trying to please sees all your effort.
3. You will not be a man-pleaser. “Man-pleaser” is the theological term for “brown-noser”, and nobody likes a brown-noser. The best way to avoid being a man-pleaser is to focus on pleasing the Lord instead.
4. Your peers and supervisors will respect you. They will respect you because they will see the integrity of your work and that it is not motivated by what you think you can get from them or the company.
I challenge you to give this new “workview” a test drive; you might find it very liberating. GS