In the middle of church, how could I have been so selfish? I was a kid, and the preacher shouted enthusiastically, “To whom much is given…” and the response he was looking for was the end of the phrase found in Luke 12:48, “much is required.” But for some reason I instantly thought, “MUCH IS RECEIVED!” Even as I write this I think about how selfish that sounds. In the innocence of my youth there wasn’t anything selfish about it, I was just a mistaken youngster. Many times adults have that same attitude though. They subconsciously think, “how much can I get?” or “my employer isn’t doing enough for me,” or a myriad of other self centered thoughts.
One of the first definitions in Webster’s dictionary for the word much is “great in quantity.” As Americans, we’ve been given “much.” We don’t even begin to understand the depths of despair other people across the world live in day by day. As Christians, we’ve been given “much” through salvation called eternity! Christ died on the cross for my sin, and yours! All we have to do is accept this free gift.
When it comes to our jobs, the office you walk into each day, God has given you much, and much is required. I’ve listed below three ways you can prepare yourself each week to give your all at work. Yes, these principles apply to several areas of our lives, like home, church, places you volunteer, but today I’ll focus on the standpoint of our careers.
Our employer has given us “much.” It’s called a J-O-B. So what can we do to fulfill our part of the “much required” passage?
1) Be Spiritually Fed
We all know how important physical food is to sustain life. We also need to be eating spiritually everyday as well. I love what Hebrews 4:12 says at the beginning, “For the word of God is alive and active…” After all these years, the Bible is still alive and active! That means the Bible has application to me no matter what I’m going through at work. In II Thessalonians 3:5 the Bible says, “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” So by reading God’s word, it opens us up for God to direct our hearts.
What a difference it would make in our places of employment if God was literally directing our hearts and pouring Christ’s perseverance on us! The definition of perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Can you imagine in the middle of that exhausting project, or in the middle of a hectic Monday morning when you haven’t accomplished one thing on your “To Do List” because of the “fires” you’ve been fighting, you are able to make it through because of Christ’s perseverance in you?
You and I should purpose to be spiritually fed because “much is required” of us and we can’t do that without God directing our hearts and giving us the perseverance to make it through the day.
2) Be Well Rested
In fulfilling our part of the “much required” passage, we have to be well rested. Being well rested prepares our body for the mental and physical beating it takes while we’re at our job. If your job is behind the microphone, in front of the advertiser, behind the checkbook, or on top of the tower, being well rested is integral in our performance. There are no rewards in heaven for sleepless nights worrying about work. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 “So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless.” Matthew 11:28 says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Laying our head on our pillow at night and literally laying it all in the hands of Jesus is the only way to find true rest. For in this moment, resting is trusting in God. You and I should purpose to be well rested because “much is required” of us and we can’t function at 100% capacity if we aren’t well rested.
3) Be Continuing in Knowledge
You’ve graduated high school, you’ve earned a college degree and now you have 20 years experience in the field. Why do you need to continue learning? The Bible commands it. Proverbs 1:5 says, “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning…” Proverbs 18:15 says, “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge…” Solomon was the wisest man to ever live, and he thought it was important enough to write down for his son to remember when he penned Proverbs. I think that means we should pay attention too!
Aside from the biblical implications, it’s important intellectually as well. Increasing in knowledge makes us more confident and broadens our perspectives on situations, which help us see the bigger picture, and enables us to make better decisions regardless of the situations. Learning also helps drive our innovation by spurring us to think creatively. Michael Hyatt says, “We’re either pushing forward or drifting backward. I choose going forward.” You and I should purpose to continue in knowledge because “much is required” and being up to date in the latest trends and technology in our industry will help us take our performance to the next level.
This week I’m challenging each of us to be spiritually fed, rested and to continue learning, and over time, I believe we’ll see a real difference in our performance and relationships at work.
Have a blessed day!