When I was growing up, for better or for worse, I did not frequently hear people complaining about their job situations or complaining about going to work. Now, as a young adult, I have much more experience in the workplace. I’ve had my share of positive and negative experiences already – some absolutely heartwarming moments, and some very stressful or difficult situations. But these things fluctuate – like most things in life. We all have seasons of loving what we do, and seasons where we feel overwhelmed or discouraged. Something God has been teaching me over the years is the fact that I can bring glory to Him no matter my position or the situation. That is the big picture, and really, that is the major goal of living as a Christian in today’s world.
So if you are feeling discouraged today, or feeling down and you are looking to still make a difference for Christ at work – here are a few ways to do that regardless of the situation!
1 // Work with excellence. Work with all of the energy, talents, and motivation that God has blessed you with. You have particular gifts and skills that others may not possess – skills that you can use to make a difference in others’ lives! We Christians should be known for being hard workers – whether it is a quieter, behind-the-scenes job or a very public one.
2 // Respect those in authority. This one is self-explanatory. If needed, voice your opinion with respect and care. Treat all people you work with as dearly loved by Christ (because they are!).
3 // Handle difficult situations with grace. Instead of resorting to bitterness or gossip, step back and ask God for His greater-picture perspective on your circumstances. This doesn’t make all situations immediately easier to walk through, but it does give you a greater purpose and helps you to pause and adjust your attitude and actions.
4 // Seek extra opportunities to speak worth into someone. Stay a few minutes after a meeting to answer someone’s hesitant questions. Watch for those who are new or possibly lonely at work, and make it a point to converse with them. Slip a note of encouragement onto someone’s desk over the lunch hour. The smallest things can make a difference in someone’s day – be the love of Christ to people who may not necessarily be feeling that love!
5 // Dedicate your work to the Lord. One of my favorite jobs of all time was working at my university as a student manager in Facilities Management. We began each work shift with prayer, and as a result of my 2 years working there, I began to see what it truly meant to serve God while working. It wasn’t the most glamorous job (cleaning men’s locker rooms often isn’t, haha!) but I loved the opportunity it gave me to dedicate each work shift – each small, seemingly unimportant task – to God and His glory. I have this verse posted on my desk: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…It is the Lord Christ you are serving. (Colossians 3:23-24) Jesus was the ultimate example of a humble, servant-heart – let’s follow in His footsteps!
This is an ongoing process (and at times, a struggle for me, when I begin to look at stressful situations in front of me rather than at my Savior). But at the end of the day – at the end of each work day – I want to leave the building knowing that I used my talents and energy as best as I can for His glory and to make His love known.
How do you strive to make God known in your job?