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Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men. – Colossians 3:23, Amplified Bible (AMP)
Why do you do what you do? In other words, what motivates you to action in the day-to-day hum-drum of life? Does money motivate you? Does praise from others motivate you? How about being considered the best at what you do?
None of these things are wrong in and of themselves. We do need money to live this life. It’s a wonderful feeling to receive praise from others for doing a good job or for being the best there is at a task. But these things should never be the reason why we do what we do. They should be by-products of what we do. If we work solely for money, then greed is fueling our inner fire. If we work for praise, then it is our pride that we are stroking. Instead of letting our lusts drive us, service to God should drive us. As Colossians 3:23, Colossians 3:17, and 1 Corinthians 10:31 all teach us, pursuing God’s glory, not our own, is the right motivation behind our daily behavior.
Part of pursuing God’s glory is discovering and engaging in the kind of work God created us to do. God created us all with unique packages of personalities, passions, skills, abilities, and strengths, and He did so for a reason: to reach others for Christ in a way no on else can. Every one of us has several mission fields, but the one we spend the most time in is the mission field we call the workplace. Through our work we have regular opportunities to influence all sorts of people – coworkers, customers, vendors, etc. – in ways that no one else can. When we engage in the work for which we were designed to do, we will do it excellently and with joy in our hearts. The excellence and joy we demonstrate will be a reflection of the Creator who gave us the work to do, and God will absolutely open up opportunities to tell others about Him when they ask questions like, “Why do you love your work so much?” and “Why are you the best at what you do?”
If greed or pride drives you, then you can bet your bottom dollar that God will someday strip you of the money and of the praise that feeds your fleshly desires. Then, when all of your earthly motivations are gone, you’ll have a choice to make: lament the fact that all you want is no longer yours, or allow the pursuit of God’s glory to be your motivation for living excellently. If you choose the former, plan on being depressed for a long, long time. If you choose the latter, then be prepared to be blessed with heart peace and contentment, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.
Robbie Romeiser is a commercial real estate broker, real estate instructor, and author of the daily devotional Today’s Quote From God (www.TodaysQuoteFromGod.com). Desiring to help his own children follow God’s calling in their lives, Robbie founded Career Callings (www.CareerCallings.net) to help people find, prepare for, and pursue the work God has called them to do.