Thank goodness it’s Friday (T.G.I.F.). That’s what I heard from one of my early morning workout comrades on Friday. Why are we so thankful to get to Friday? Does it in part have to do with our outlook on work?
I have observed three unhealthy attitudes toward work. First, it’s a necessary evil. I need to make a living so I have to work. Work is simply a means to an end, but otherwise it’s unpleasant and should be avoided if possible. Second, work defines who I am. This mindset leads me to believe that I have worth because of my work or job title. Third, work is an obsession. When work becomes an obsession, everything else takes a backseat. Work consumes both my time and thoughts so that even when I’m not at my place of work, I can’t stop thinking about work.
If we are honest with ourselves, one or more of these outlooks toward work can creep into our thinking. It is easy for unhealthy habits and thoughts to permeate our lives. That is why it is important for us to consistently pursue the source of correct thinking, and I believe that the Bible is the primary source of wisdom. So what does the Bible have to say about work?
Genesis 2:15 indicates that God placed mankind on earth to tend and watch over the earth. It seems that, at least in part, God’s purpose for us is to work. He designed us to work. It’s in our DNA. Ecclesiastes 5:19 tells us that God provides us the opportunity to work and the ability to enjoy work. God wants us to enjoy our work and the fruit of our labor.
In Psalm 127:2, we are advised that it is useless to work hard from early morning until late at night. Yes, we should work hard, but we also need to find an appropriate life/work balance. Although we were designed to work, we were not designed exclusively for work.
If you are currently struggling with your attitude and mindset about your place of employment, let God impart his wisdom into your situation. Perhaps He has you there for a distinct purpose, and you need to better align yourself with his purpose for your work. Maybe you are not in the right place, and your gifts and passions would be better utilized somewhere else. No matter where you are currently in your attitude toward work, let God’s wisdom shine light on your situation, and resist the temptation of conforming to the world’s way of thinking.