Saturday, September 11, 2010

Your Work Matters to God by Bob Gass

 ... My Father never stops working, and so I keep working, too. John 5:17 NCV

A salesman stopped to visit a client and was amazed to find a big dog emptying wastebaskets. 'All part of the job!' the dog said cheerfully. 'Does your boss know how fortunate he is to have a talking dog?' the salesman asked. 'No,' replied the dog, 'and don't tell him - or he'll have me answering phones next!'

The Bible says, '... there is nothing better than to... find satisfaction in work... these pleasures are from... God' (Ecclesiastes 2:24 NLT). Max Lucado says, "Before God gave Adam a wife or child... He gave him a job in "the garden... to cultivate... and keep it" (Genesis 2:15 NAS)." God deems work worthy of its own engraved commandment: "You shall work six days, but on the seventh... you shall rest... " (Exodus 34:21 NAS).

But emphasis on the day of rest can make us miss the command to work... your work matters to God... and society... Cities need plumbers. Nations need soldiers. Stoplights break. Bones break... Someone has to raisekids, raise cane, and manage the kids who raise Cain! Whether you log-on or lace-up... you imitate God... Jesus said, '... "My Father never stops working... so I keep working too"' (John 5:17 NCV).

Your career consumes half your life. Shouldn't it broadcast God? Don't those 40-60 hours belong to Him too? The Bible never promotes work-a-holism as pain medication, but God calls the physically able to till the gardens He gives... So use your uniqueness (what you do), to make a big deal out of God (why you do it), every day of your life (where you do it).'

God cares about honesty in the workplace...
Proverbs 16:11 TM

The Human Resources Director was taken aback when he heard what the job applicant asked to be paid. 'You certainly expect to be compensated well for a beginner.' The applicant replied, 'Well sure, work is a lot harder when you don't know what you're doing.' A cute story, but 'God cares about honesty in the workplace; your business is His business'(Proverbs 16:11 TM). You should give an honest day's work for an honest day's wages.

Eric Harvey says, 'Think about somebody you know who's of good character, and reflect on the characteristics that make them a role model... Chances are that high on the list is commitment - an unwavering dedication to being a good family member and friend - to doing their best on and off the job... to doing what's right, noble and decent. Committed people... have their heads and hearts in the right place. They keep their priorities straight... stay focused on what's important... What they believe drives how they behave, and how they behave determines their character... their reputation... and the legacy they leave.'

Abraham Lincoln observed, 'Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. It's the words that speak boldly of your intentions, and the actions which speak louder than the words. It's making time when there is none... it's coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character's made of... the power to change the face of things... the daily triumph of integrity over scepticism.' An admirer approached the world-renowned pianist Van Cliburn after one of his concerts and said, 'I'd give my life to be able to play like you.' Smiling, Cliburn replied, 'I did!' 

Dr Adrian Rogers said, 'God takes ordinary people and gives them power to do extraordinary things. Whether you put hub caps on tyres... key in data... dig ditches or wash dishes, "Work... as... for the Lord... "( Colossians 3:23  NLT). Jesus' home was the cottage of a working man. Mending ploughs or mending souls, Jesus was doing God's work because people need houses and furniture.

Knowing you're serving the Lord puts dignity in running a machine, greasing cars, carrying mail, painting houses, or cutting grass. Tell God, "I'm doing this for you and I'll do it with all my might"... That kind of attitude puts a spring in your step... You're a priest of God... in full-time service, and if that doesn't ring your bell - your clapper's broken!' As Leigh Priebe Kearney says, 'No job's perfect... there'll always be things you aren't thrilled about.

See the big picture: find out where the company's heading and how you fit in. Reach out: ask what's important to your co-workers and how you can help them.' You can have almost anything you want, if you help enough other people get what they want. Remember the three Cs: 1) commitment. Workers who get ahead share a sense of commitment: they're fully engaged in their work 2) control. They're proactive, not passive 3) challenge. They see stressful situations as opportunities for growth.

Don't wait for your ship to come in - swim out to meet it! Management won't suddenly recognize your potential, pluck you from obscurity and rocket you to the top. Draft a plan, then talk to your boss. A game plan shows you're open to professional growth. Keep learning: talk to people from other departments, take classes, and tackle projects outside your comfort zone.

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