Summary: A series from the book of Proverbs looking at ways to use wisdom in daily life.
Be Wise - Work
July 14, 2019
After a fourth of July holiday weekend, it can be difficult to get back to work. In fact, if we were to be really honest, there are some days when it’s just difficult to get to work and get really excited about it.
Sometimes, we’re just a little over tired, sometimes we’ve been up too late the night before, or we’re not really happy with the job and going to work can be a struggle. It’s not just true about our jobs, but anything we do, whether it’s volunteering, exercising, practicing, whatever it is, it can be tough to get all excited about.
We’re in a series from the book of Proverbs, I’m calling BE WISE. It’s a series designed to help us gain the wisdom from the book as we seek to follow the words and wise advice from Solomon.
When we think about our attitude towards work, for most people - work is a necessary evil. There are not too many people who are amazed that they get paid to do what they love.
And sometimes it’s difficult when we see athletes, actors, musicians and others getting paid millions of dollars and complaining. It’s difficult for me to comprehend some of the numbers in the NBA. Just for fun . . . the 454th lowest paid player last year was former Butler player Shelvin Mack. He earned $1 million. The lowest annual salary is $897,158 for a rookie. And to make you a little sick, Steph Curry will make a little over $40 million next season. That’s a weekly paycheck of just under $770,000.
OK, let’s get back to reality . . .
In many respects, it’s difficult to determine the American attitude towards work, because there are a number of conflicting attitudes out there. Some people hate their jobs and work only because they have to. Others are obsessed with their jobs and work to the exclusion of everything else. What’s interesting is the fact that most people who fall into the second category also hate their jobs — or, at the very least, they don't get as much fulfillment from their job as they would like.
The fact is - - you will spend about 80,000 hours of your life working. That doesn’t include the commute and traveling for your job.
In 1973 the average American spent 40 hours a week at work; in 1987 that amount increased to an average of 46 hours per week. Today, if you're a professional you work an average of 52 hours a week and if you're a small business owner you work an average of 57 hours a week.
You’ll spend more time working, commuting to work and thinking about work than anything else you do. You'll spend more time at work than you do with your family, or with friends, or in leisure, or in spiritual activities.
Whether you like it or not, work dominates your life.
And this is supposed to be uplifting?
In Colossians 3, Paul tells us –
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17
Paul’s really pretty clear about how we should act in our daily lives. There’s nothing magical, mystical or crazy about what he’s telling us - -
whatever you do - - so, if you’re working, or if it’s school, or if it’s volunteering, if it’s retirement - - it really doesn’t matter . . . because your attitude about what you do is what reveals God in you.
Whatever you do, whether you’re speaking or doing, do EVERYTHING in the name of Jesus. So, if you’re going through the motions at work, as a volunteer, as a spouse, in your hobby, if you’re doing it in a half-hearted manner, then you are NOT bringing glory and honor to God. You are not revealing God’s true character and nature.
Sometimes we struggle with work. We wonder why we’re doing what we do. We should be asking ourselves, “why do you do the job you do? Is it because of the pay? Is it because you’re in debt and have to work? Is it because it's the only place that would hire you?”
Money alone is never a sufficient motivation for work. Of course, we’re not going to work for free. Nobody expects you to. But, if the only reason you show up for work is to get a paycheck, then the joy and opportunity to make Christ evident will fade away, and people will see a lack of care and effort. A boss doesn't want an employee who is there only for the paycheck.
Think about it. If you call a lawyer, do you want a lawyer who sees you only as so more billable hours, or do you want a lawyer who believes in you and your case?