All you “haters” listen up… by “haters” I’m specifically referring to people who hate their jobs. Have you ever stopped to consider what you hate about your job? I suspect most people don’t really hate the job… they hate certain aspects of the job. (They hate the pressure of the job. They hate the product that they make. Or worse, they hate some of the people they work with. Even if you add all of these up it doesn’t mean that you hate your job.)
If you’re one of those “haters” at work, you’re probably experiencing the consequences of sin. From the very beginning God gave people the privilege of work. He gave Adam and Eve work to do way back in the Garden of Eden. This was an important part of being created in the image of God. God was working for six days during creation. When his work was complete, he gave work for his creation to do… for Adam and Eve to do. God created the Earth- Adam and Eve cultivated it. God made the Earth- Adam and Eve sustained it.
I believe that their work was meaningful and challenging but, at the same time, it was joyful and easy. However, when sin entered into the equation work became hard. In Genesis 3:17 one of the consequences for Adam’s sin was that work became very difficult. Work became a 4-letter word. So, chances are, that you’re experiencing the consequences of Adam’s sin at your workplace.
Change your attitude or change your job?
For the “hater” the natural question is- should I quit my job because I hate it? That is a difficult question to answer. If your job is evil or you are asked to do wrong at work then perhaps you should quit your job. If it’s just hard and you don’t like it, perhaps you shouldn’t quit your job.
Maybe the better question to ask is, “Is the job the problem or is your attitude about the job the problem?” In order to answer this question, you have to decide if this is what you have been “called” to do. The word vocation means calling. Every Christian should have a vocation. Every Christian is called by Jesus to do something. Maybe that vocation is out of the house, in the marketplace, making a paycheck. Maybe that vocation is in the home, with the children, without a paycheck, but it’s still what you’re called by Jesus to do.
Keep in mind what Psalm 127:2 says about work. It’s not how many hours you work or what standard of living your job provides that gives joy in life. It’s honoring Jesus that brings peace at work and at home.
What should we do?
There’s a great example of this in the New Testament if you read between the lines. When John was baptizing people early in his ministry many lives were being changed. People were trying to figure out what it looked like to live for God rather than their own selfish desires. They regularly asked John the question in Luke 3:10 “What should we do?”
John’s answer was fascinating. He told them to live moral lives. To live God honoring lives, to live for Jesus rather than a paycheck or promotion, in the workplace.
But what John didn’t say was also fascinating. He didn’t ask them to quit their jobs. When soldiers asked him in Luke 3:14 what they should do, John didn’t tell them to leave the Army. Rather, John told them to be content. If you were able to ask John the same question today, perhaps he would tell you the exact same answer- “Continue doing what you’re doing, just do it for the glory of God. “
Are you working for Jesus?
What if your job is petty and meaningless? Does God still want me to do that job? Is God calling me to do something simple? The answer to that question is found in Ephesians 6:5. This verse was written to house servants, to the people who swept the floor and washed the dishes. Surely, Jesus wanted them to do something more important with their lives, right? Wrong.
He simply asked them to change their perspective. He suggested they no longer work like it’s for the owner of the home. Instead, they work like Jesus is their boss. That perspective radically changes the way you work.
When Jesus is your boss, you work with excellence. When Jesus is your boss, you work diligently. When Jesus is your boss, you work to bring beauty, value and wholeness to the job. When you work like a Jesus is your boss, you are working like Adam did in the garden for his boss- the Creator.