Work is a part and parcel of life that we all must contend with. We spend most of our waking hours doing some kind of work, whether at home or outside of the home. Certainly, the work environment at home is more friendly and relaxing but work done outside of the home can be very challenging to the point that it can be burdensome. Regardless of where the work is done – at home or outside, it is the work attitude that makes the difference of whether it is enjoyable and rewarding or not. Therefore, the apostle Paul admonished believers to have the right work attitude and said, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23).
Knowing that it is the Lord whom we are serving gives us special joy. He is a faithful master and he rewards those who diligently serve him. The apostle Paul said, “You know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:24). Also, it gives us confidence in doing the work since we know that “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13). He will not only equip us to do the work but will also help us complete it.
When we work for men, we have the tendency to be slothful rather than being diligent. We also tend to do things grudgingly as opposed to being cheerful because we know that we can hide from them. This is the reason why the apostle Paul said, “Obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart” (Eph. 6:5-6). Those that have this work attitude will certainly not lose their rewards here on earth. Employers are most delighted by this kind of work attitude – doing things from our hearts.
There are work attitudes that we need to develop for us to be able to excel in the work place and glorify God in the process. Some of these are to:
Be faithful. Every employer expects their employees to be faithful in discharging their duties and responsibilities. In the Parable of the Talents, this was emphasized when the master said to his servant, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” (Matt. 25:21)
Be honest. There is a saying that honesty is the best policy. Again, employers expect us do our job with integrity. In carrying out our duties, we should be careful not to employ deceit or any wicked schemes. The apostle Paul said, “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men” (2 Cor. 8:21). Our work attitude is also our witness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Be humble. The saying, “It is pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels” is so true. It is humility that brings us success because it is the foundation of all virtues. The Book of Proverbs says, “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honour and life” (Prov. 22:4). When we succumb to the spirit of pride, curses abound, but when we humble ourselves, blessings will come.
Be teachable. Since we do not possess a monopoly on wisdom and knowledge, we need to listen to others. Our willingness to learn enhances our chances of success. The Book of Proverbs says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Prov. 19:20). Failing or refusing to receive instructions will have dire consequences. The apostle Paul said, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom. 2:5).
Be grateful. Many say that “Thank You” is the best prayer one can offer. Be grateful to God who has given you the power and ability to make wealth. Also, thank the people that the Lord is using to bless you. The apostle Paul admonished gratefulness when he said, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17). The last thing we want to do is to be ungrateful, repaying evil for good. The Book of Proverbs says, “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house” (Prov. 17:13). Amen.