Today’s Truth

She works with eager hands (Proverbs 31:13, NIV).

Friend to Friend

I have had many jobs over the years. I started babysitting when I was twelve years old. In high school, I worked in a clothing store, as an aid for my choral director, and as a recruiter for an employment agency. In college, I was a secretary for the president of our social science honors program and often gave tours to visiting dignitaries. Some jobs I liked more than others but working in an insurance office when my husband attended seminary was one of my least favorite jobs.

I soon discovered that I was not alone in my lack of enthusiasm as I read the following note posted on the office bulletin board:

“If you don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead, you ought to be here five minutes before quitting time!”

Our attitude about our work will determine the success of our work. Scripture tells us that the Proverbs 31 woman literally “pounced upon” her work with “chosen delight.” Notice the word “chosen.” No job is perfect, and no workplace is always wonderful, but we can learn to train our heart and choose our attitude about our work.

The story is told of three men who were working on a large building project. “What are you doing?” one of the men was asked. “I am mixing mortar,” he responded. The second man said, “I am helping put up this great stone wall.” When the third man was asked, he replied, “I’m building a cathedral to the glory of God.”

We need to understand that what gives work eternal value and makes it successful is not the product or service we offer; it is doing the job faithfully to the glory of God. It doesn’t matter if you close a million-dollar deal or do a million loads of laundry. If you do it unto God as part of your life worship of Him, you are a success.

The apostle Paul was a very successful man whose work ethic is made clear in Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward…It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Every customer you serve or every child you hug, every toilet you clean or every deal you close can be an act of worship when it is done for the glory of God.

A survey by the Families and Work Institute found that 70 percent of people in the United States often dream about doing something different for a living. Books, consultants, and employment agencies offer to help us land our dream job. However, is finding a different occupation always the solution to job satisfaction? The problem may not be your vocation. Maybe the key to successful work is discovering a new approach to the work we already do.

Twice in Colossians 3, Paul used the phrase “whatever you do” as a call for wholehearted service to the Lord. A wholehearted effort is difficult when working for a critical, ungrateful boss. Minimum effort then becomes a response that certainly seems justified under the circumstances. However, when our work is done for Christ and we view Him as our supervisor, we will strive to do our best all of the time. The boss may sign our paycheck, but the Savior issues our reward.

Obviously, it’s not wrong to seek work that fits our skills and interests, but it is pointless to move from one job to another without first settling the issue of who it is that we are truly serving in the workplace. Daily work takes on eternal significance when it is done for God.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for the job You have given me. Please help me honor You with the work I do and the attitude with which I do it. Help me view my workplace as an opportunity to praise and worship You. Please let me see my co-workers as people You have placed in my path to love. Today, I surrender my job to You, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

The amazing truth is that more than we want to know God’s plan for our life, He wants us to know it and stands ready to guide us in it. God always reveals His plan to an obedient and seeking heart. Are you willing to do whatever God asks you to do?

More from the Girlfriends

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© 2021 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.

5 Responses to “Who’s the Boss?”

  1. Bernadette says:

    I have been in the administrative field for my entire adult life. I have always been bored of the type of work. I love working and interacting with others but I would like a change.

  2. Sharon says:

    After several years of literally starving, an accident, my Mother living with me, her illness, who am I kidding life was full of stress! And then I found myself, in the gambling industry! What in the world was I doing there? First, I thought I’d be fired that first week, being dyslexic and a head injury I went home each night and cried! But the tips, and they might be a couple of dollars if I was lucky, were enough to buy my son and I something to eat? I struggled constantly with it, what in the world was I doing there! I was glad my father was passed on and my Mum, not in her mind anymore! And yet a small whisper said, stay! I ended up manager for this site and 3others, I met my husband through this job, he was the nephew of one of the church elders, and this elder, long time friend of my parents? It wasn’t easy, the marriage, what I thought, wasn’t, and I set about getting him out of debt! But the strangest thing has happened, like Job I have been wealthier in my latter years! God has provided well for me so that I can give back now, and tithe comfortably. Don’t ever think God is not directing you for a much easier and blessed life based on the job you are doing? You might well think, it was the devil providing the job, and you may be right, butGod used it for His own Glory !

  3. Joanie says:

    Mary –

    Thank you for being one of the Lord’s vessels through which He speaks to others. My friend and I were walking last night and were talking about my struggles with my career. As we chatted, she said, “Joanie, you know who you work for. It’s not Jim (name changed), it’s the Lord. Girl, you gotta die to yourself everyday, maybe multiple times a day. But you’ve got this.” I am grateful the Lord gave me a truth speaking friend who will challenge me because she cares about me. He knew she was a vessel He could use to speak to me. And while this message may speak to many who read it, He also knew things would align in such a way that He could use your message to solidify the message He gave through my friend last night. So thank you, continue your good works! ❤️

  4. Sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing this message today. The topic is one I have been struggling with for a while, and although the struggle will still continue I’m sure this was just a perfect message this morning. Oh how the Lord works in wonderful ways!!!

  5. Kami says:

    I avoid Proverbs 31 like the plague! I feel like I could never measure up to that woman. I’ve always been able to do my best work no matter what boss I’ve had. Then I became a stay-at-home mom and I felt like I had no boss. I was the boss and I was not made to be a boss. My whole life fell apart. The mom part I managed ok because my husband is a great partner, but my house is a wreck, we eat mostly processed food and I’m a chronic procrastinator. This devotional is exactly what I needed to hear! Now I have a boss. The best boss ever! It’ll take me a minute to prayerfully wrap my head around this, but I have a Boss!

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