In honor of Labor Day, I thought it would be appropriate to bring up discussion about work. In the working world, I frequently hear about the importance of work/life balance. On the one hand, people talk about working to live rather than living to work. On the other hand, it quickly becomes evident that those employees who are willing to work extra hours are often the ones who move up in their careers. Our motives for our work give insight into where we fall on the scale of work/life balance.
I work as a higher education administrator. My job is to meet with students and to help them look for solutions to problems they are facing. I enjoy being able to help them overcome confusion that typically comes with starting college. My introverted personality makes me most suited for reviewing cases and resolving issues with documentation, but at the end of the day, I want students to be in a better position to find what they need.
While my day job revolves around assisting students and reviewing their paperwork, I often find myself caught up in the allure of bettering my career. I want to work harder in hopes of an eventual promotion or raise, and it is easy to focus on my personal career goals instead of truly desiring to help students. I get frustrated when I feel that my work is not recognized as I think it should be. I forget that God didn’t call me to this position to make myself great. Yes, I should work hard, but if I do it for the wrong reasons, I may become bitter and cause damage to relationships in addition to the good I accomplish. I may end up discouraging others if I complain about what I’m not receiving from my job. I may also contribute negativity or self-service to my office environment which will follow me home and affect my family.
1 Corinthians 10:31(ESV) tells us, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” When my focus is set entirely on how to better my career, I am seeking my own glory instead of God’s. When I allow students or parents to frustrate me and look for ways to escape my job, I am also not glorifying God. Even when I truly desire to help students, my focus should be on showing them the love of God and accomplishing what He calls me to do. Then, I might have a more positive outlook on my work. If I remember the love God has for me while I am serving others, I will remember how abundant His love is which can motivate me to not only do the job assigned to me, but also to truly care about each situation.
On this Labor Day, let’s remember the true purpose for our work. God commanded us to be fruitful and to bring Him glory. While we may find promotions or raises along the way, we should always strive to do the good works He has called us to do.
A special thanks to Grace Church for inspiring this post.