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do-er, a very goal-oriented individual. Often, it has served me well. I have been able to work full-time, help manage the family responsibilities, stay active in church, and respond to emergencies when they arise. Yet, sadly, there have also been times when it has not been to my advantage: Times when I’ve taken on too much and felt like a hamster on a hamster wheel, going faster and faster and faster with no way off until I just collapsed. In those times, I often had a hard time saying no…I didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, or I felt like if I didn’t say yes than a vital need of someone else’s would go unmet, and sometimes, if I’m being honest, I just didn’t want someone to not like me.
There are many different motivations for work. Sometimes we take on for curiosity sake, to see what we might learn. Sometimes we take on tasks for the approval or admiration of others. Other times, we take on tasks with the express purpose of accomplishing a specific goal.
If you were to ask me about my motivation for work, I’d have to honestly say, that I usually take on tasks to accomplish a goal. I tend to be fairly performance-driven with a goal of perfection whenever possible. I can think of numerous times when I have spouted my general philosophy to my children: “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”
I remember being taught in Sunday School that whatever we do, we should do it as if we are doing it for God:
“And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father...Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Colossians 3:17 & 23 (NLT)
I believe we should strive to do whatever we do well, yet for the majority of my life I equated that with striving for perfection, working longer, or working harder to achieve. Somehow I missed the rest of Paul’s encouragement to give thanks to God for the work He has given us to do and to work cheerfully at whatever you do. Many times I have worked long and hard hours toward some end, but have neither been cheerful about it in the process, nor particularly thankful for the task.
As I began to practice thanksgiving and cheerfulness at work, an amazing transformation began to take place. Work began to feel less like work, and more like opportunity. I began to enjoy each phase of a task rather than just looking toward the point of completion. Others around me seemed to enjoy their work more also. We could encourage each other to stay the course then celebrate each others’ “successes” in jobs well done. Paul seemed to have the right idea: work hard as if we are working for God, and in the working, be thankful and cheerful for the work we have the opportunity to do.
How would your work change if you practiced thankfulness and cheerfulness at work?
Dr. Michelle Bengtson is a speaker and writer in
where she shares hope for hurting hearts.
She has learned to see the joys of life through difficult situations
by remembering the promise found in Jeremiah 29:11. Her desire is to share
this joy and encourage others to hold fast to hope. In her writings
and when she speaks to churches, groups and other organizations, she
draws on 20 years of professional experience as a neuropsychologist and over 25
years of marriage and family life offering sound biblical advice on all types
of emotional issues. Southlake, Texas
If you would like to read more of Michelle’s posts, or are interested in having her speak at one of your events, visit her website: http://drmichellebengtson.com/
She can also be found on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DrMichelleBengtson or
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