CBS News published an article March 31, 2017 titled, “Why so many Americans hate their jobs.” The article highlighted the state of American workers and it doesn’t take much interpretation to get the picture. So many people are miserable at work. The article references a Gallup study which states that two-thirds of workers are disengaged. In addition, another 16% are actively disengaged meaning they actually resent their jobs and work to drag down office morale. What’s scarier is the impact that disengagement has on companies including high turnover, poor customer service, absenteeism and countless other productivity pitfalls that crush morale. Companies lose and the people who work at these companies lose as a result of this phenomenon. So, in consideration of this encouraging state of the American worker is there anything YOU can do to guard yourself from falling into the same level of despair that seems to plague many people? The answer is yes, and it really starts with how you think about work.
Work was invented by God. The Bible opens with the dramatic story of creation where God went to work and spoke everything into being. All that He made was labeled as good and He followed up His six days of profound creation with a day of rest. Later in the Genesis account you read where God makes man and gives him the work of cultivating and keeping the garden. It’s the first job ever assigned to someone and that too was good! Adam had the awesome assignment to care for the garden God had designed. What a gift! If you are familiar with the story, then you know what happened next when evil entered the world. Work was cursed and became something that would be laborious, challenging, and filled with obstacles. The notion that people might hate their work is easy to understand but is that the way it should be? I don’t think so. We are told in the Bible that we were created for good works (Ephesians 2:10) and that we should do our work with excellence (Colossians 3:23-24)! God designed work for our good so that we can reflect our trust in Him by the way we do our jobs. It’s a gift to do the work God designed for us.
How we do our work is a reflection of what we believe or better yet, who we believe. For many people the “who” they believe in most is themselves. As a result, they will approach work in a way that maximizes their own benefits, their own gains and their own agendas. You know these people by their tendency to point to others as the reason for their work frustrations. We have all worked with people that fall into that category. Yet for those who believe in someone other than themselves they will reflect the characteristics of that person. As a Christian, how we interact with people, how we make decisions and how we conduct ourselves should reflect the characteristics of the one we follow; Jesus. The apostle Paul told the Romans to consider their bodies a living and holy sacrifice which is their spiritual service of worship (Romans 12:1). How we work is part of how we worship, and our workplace is a primary arena where we have opportunity to reflect the one we serve.
If you find yourself hating your job, then take a moment to remind yourself that God created your work and the way you approach your job is part of your worship. I hope you are worshipping well.