Do You See Work as a Platform or a Prison?

Too many Christians see their work as a prison.  It is a required part of their week, but it is not something they enjoy.  When asked for their reasons, the answers vary, but there is a recurring theme. Most view their work as a necessary evil instead of a source of joy and an opportunity for impact.  Very few would consider their work as a platform.

Prison Or Platform?

What are your thoughts?  Does this perspective resonate with you?  Do you see your work as a prison…maybe not all of the time, but often enough?  Have you stopped to think about how you could turn from that point of view and begin approaching work with a renewed sense of purpose?

Here’s the deal…God designed us for work from the very beginning.  Our work is not simply part of a fallen world.  In Genesis 2:15, we see a clear picture of this:

The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.

Genesis 2:15

God’s Desires?

If God designed us to work from the beginning, do you think He intended it as a prison?  Do you think He may have another purpose in mind?  If we look at Colossians 3:23-24, I think it is clear that God wants us to serve Him in our work…and in anything else we do!

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

Assuming this is true, then how do you think God views our perspective on work as a prison?  Is it pleasing to Him for us to treat our jobs as a necessary evil in our lives?  Should we instead begin looking at how we can better “serve the Lord Christ” in our work?

Six Questions To Ask

I recently watched a message from Louie Giglio on this topic.  In this message, Giglio gave us six questions we should be asking if we want to change our thinking about our work; three of which I’ll discuss this week. Next week, we’ll discuss the rest. Warning: These questions may cause ridicule and confusing looks from those around you at work…especially if you have previously been jaded in your view of your work!  At the same time, if applied consistently, these questions can bring you joy and impact through your work!

Question #1 – What More Can I Give?

Most people, Christians included, default to asking how they can benefit more from their work.  Whether they seek more income, more time off, or more authority, the typical employee is seeking more for themselves.  This question turns that thinking on its head!

If we want to stop looking at our work as a prison, then we must begin asking what more we can GIVE!  We must look around the workplace and seek out opportunities to give more effort, more intensity, and more passion toward the work we do.  Don’t forget, we are serving the Lord Christ!

We have to figure out how to exceed the expectations of our employer or supervisors.  We must pray for wisdom about how to add more value to our company.  Our mindset has to shift from benefitting ourselves to improving and strengthening our workplace.

Question #2 – What More Can I Learn?

Most of us have gone through some sort of training in order to do our jobs.  Depending on your job, you may even have continuous education requirements. Unfortunately, for most employees, this is where the learning stops.  Instead of looking for new and uncommon ways to learn, most simply do what is required and nothing more.

If we are going to serve the Lord Christ in our jobs, then we must be determined to learn as much as we can.  We must seek out opportunities to grow in our understanding of our job, our company, and even our industry.  We cannot afford to stagnate and simply get by with the minimum required of us.

When is the last time you took the time to dig deeper into a topic related to your work…one that was not required of you?  How often do you carve out the time to expand your knowledge base for the sake of your team or company?  Can you imagine how much more value you could bring to your company if your knowledge was steadily increasing over time?

Question #3 – How Can I Personally Advance The Organizational Mission?

I don’t know the statistics, but I am betting most employees in most companies do not even know the mission of their organization.  Without casting blame, what do you think would happen if you began to work harder in areas that specifically promoted the mission of your team, department, or company?

While most people have never thought twice about their company’s mission, the one who is serving the Lord Christ should be focused on it.  Our efforts should reflect an understanding, buy-in, and engagement with the mission.  Job position, in this case, is irrelevant.  Whether leader or entry-level worker, everyone can work to advance the mission of their organization.

From Prison To Platform

I will cover the other three questions in my next post.  Before I do, I want to encourage you to take time to go through these first three questions and think hard about how the answers could change your entire outlook on work!  If you will dig deep into the answers to these questions, I guarantee your work will go from a prison to a platform!

Can you imagine if all Christians began changing their work perspective based on the answers to these questions?  Can you even dream of a world where employers asked their HR department, “Where can we find more Christians to hire?  They make the best employees and leaders!”

Determine right now that you are going to begin pushing toward that picture in your own workplace!  God will honor your efforts!

Photo by Artfoliophoto / iStock

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  • Keith

    Excellent, thank you Chris!