At the mention of work, some cringe. You may picture yourself arising early on a Monday morning only to drag yourself to another monotonous day at the widget factory. Work is sometimes painful, for sure. But what if we were able to change our perspective on this activity that occupies so much of our time? Is that possible?
I remember my first day as a new-hire. Reaching into a sink full of sickening chunks of food to unclog the drain, I questioned my first job choice as a dishwasher. This wasnʼt for me. Was this really going to be my eternal existence?
You probably have a similar story. Remember that job years ago that you just hated? Maybe you had a manager you loathed. Perhaps it was the atmosphere that weighed you down. There was something that pushed you to find another job, one that treated you better.
Learning to enjoy my job
After job-hopping for several years, I finally recognized that my dissatisfaction with work was not so much an external struggle, but an internal one. This pushed me to realize that I needed a fresh perspective on work. I found that my anguish was more of an attitude that I held rather than a condition of my employment.
Opening the Bible, I found an interesting verse regarding the original intention of work:
“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 NIV
Whenever I read this verse in the past, I didnʼt think there was much to be gained from it. But then when I compared my previous viewpoint of work (being difficult, trying, and depressing) with the passage, something leaped off the page at me: Adam was put to work by God in THE GARDEN OF EDEN!
Wow. Here God created a perfect world, flawless in its design, and yet required that humanity would work in it! Can you imagine working in a perfect environment? This work must have been enjoyable in the pristine world. Did I just say work and enjoyable in the same sentence? I think I did!
The fresh perspective found here is that work was originally designed to be enjoyable! Today, in our fallen world, we have to make the choice to enjoy our work. Just like we have a choice to do good or evil, we have a choice to view our work as pleasant or dreadful.
Now you may be thinking, “Oh, not me John. You have no idea how painful my job is.” Maybe so. But isnʼt it worth considering that our attitude and viewpoint on work changes our mood? I think it is.
Iʼm not suggesting that if you hate your job you stick with it. What Iʼm pointing out here is that we have the choice to be content in our current circumstance.
Another idea that helps me enjoy work is that it is a part of my life. Too many people compartmentalize their home life from their work life. Try blending the concept of work with the concept of living. Itʼs life-work!
Are you prepared for a fresh perspective on work? It starts with you transforming your mind. It starts when you decide that work is life. Be creative with your work. Seize the opportunity to influence others with Godʼs love. The Lord is calling us to work as he designed us to work. Are you ready?
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” -Colossians 3:23 NIV
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