This is an excerpt taken from Nelson T. Dy’s Your First Job
If all good work is attuned to God’s purposes, then there is no such thing as a “worldly” job or a “spiritual” job. Both the plumber and the pastor who do their work well are equally commendable to God. Thus, the businessman who generates profit to create new jobs need not feel guilty that he is not doing “more important” activities like being a missionary to the tribes. Everyone who works is serving God in his own way.
The application of this truth is not limited to just the choice of vocation. It also applies to time. Work from Mondays to Saturdays is also sacred, just as “religious” duties on Sundays are sacred. Many struggle how to apply their faith at the office or factory, where they wrestle with temptations they don’t encounter during a Sunday service.
Some have resorted to “compartmentalizing,” that is, their behavior on Sundays is different from that during the workweek. Their workday behavior is no different from someone who does not profess the Christian faith. It has even gone to the extent of people saying, “Yes, it is nice to be a Christian. But this is the real world. You have to be practical.” Does this sound familiar?
But when we realize that God is a Worker and our work is a partnership with Him — assuming, of course, that the work is honest and honorable, neither exploitative nor immoral — the way we feel, think and act about our jobs will radically change. I can name at least three ways it can change:
First, if we are co-workers with God, what do you think is the quality of the work we should render? The answer, of course, is we give it our best.
Second, if God values excellence, then He knows how to reward excellence. Millennia after Genesis was written, explicit divine rewards were promised and recorded in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul lived at an era when a large number of the Roman Empire’s population were slaves. Yet, rather than inciting the slaves to rebellion, he encouraged them,
Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord,not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.
If we let this concept sink in, we will no longer see our workplaces as prisons of misery or drudgery.
Third, there is one reward that I can promise you. It is happiness.Many people are dissatisfied with their jobs. You may be one of them. Here is a principle that changed my thinking:
Don’t work for happiness. Work for excellence.
The happiness will follow from a job excellently done.
We tend to think that if we are happy in our jobs, then we will give excellent work. But that is like saying, “If I am in the mood, I will go to the gym.” And that day may never come.
Straining with weights or panting on the treadmill is not my idea of fun, so I will not likely rush to the nearest gym or health club. But if I discipline myself into a regular work-out, the reward will be improved health, which will lead to greater self-esteem, that I would never get had I stayed sedentary.
The same principle is true for setting up happiness as a career goal, which may be illusory and transient. But if our goal is to pursue excellence in our work, we will gain satisfaction as an additional benefit. This can be the same satisfaction God must have felt when on the sixth day, He saw that all He had
created was “very good.”
Discover six timeless principles every professional wish they knew when they started. Learn the secrets of succeeding in the workplace from ten topnotch Filipino executives, including former Del Monte President Alex Castillo, Gawad Kalinga’s Tony Meloto, Chowking President and CEO Raffy dela Rosa, and more. Plus, a bonus chapter on call centers!
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