I heard a good Labor Day message this past weekend. 2 Thessalonians 3: 6-13 described ways to make my work effective and I reflected on ways to apply it to my life. I also realized that I could be lacking in my work ethic if I did not use the principals raised in Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. Now, this message could apply to our Christian walk as well as how we perform our daily jobs or interact in our communities. Using the two principals can help you make your work more effective as well.
- Inventory the reasons you work. There are two reasons to work: earn an income and to provide meaning. Earning income helps you meet the needs of yourself and your family. Creating meaning includes providing for others and honoring God. Consider that whatever you do, as a Christian, you should be doing it to please God. These two realities should provide motivation and desire to do your best and provide resources for your employer, a means for your families and give honor to God. Taking a look at those who count on you to provide for them, write them down and reflect on it.
- Establish the right attitude. Working isn’t just punching the clock and meeting the bare minimum. That would conflict with part of the first principal of creating meaning. Demand excellence of yourself and give your best effort. If you are a supervisor, provide this motivation to your employees.
People who have good work ethics learn to manage time, limit distractions and provide great products and services. They don’t waste time in vain arguments about politics, religion or other distractions. They focus on good relationships and contributing to the organizations vision. This ethic can be applied to all aspects of community and profession. Doing otherwise may indicate that you take advantage of your work and coworkers. You get pay (not earn) that you do not deserve. Strive to earn your keep, make your way, do an honest day’s work or whatever proverb you might be familiar with. Directly apply the concept of working for your pay and food and dedicate your volunteering, profession, hobbies or other activities to doing the right thing. Your reward is your pay, meaning and having the right attitude.