How can I find joy in my job?
The Selfless Teacher
“And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.” (Eph 6:7, The Message)
It’s hard when our boss sounds like a grizzly bear. It’s even more annoying when our supervisor fusses constantly over the same thing. It’s puzzling when our manager avoids us like the plague. What’s going on? In such circumstances, how can we shine? How can we truly be joyful at work? After all, a barking dog keeps us awake during the night and a crowing rooster wakes us up way too early. So often we can’t even sleep during the night due to stress at work!
Sadly, that’s how numerous people view the one who gives them their paycheck.
I am no better. I, too, struggle with bureaucracy, and way too often I forget why I am truly here.
It’s time we wake up from our stupor and realize who our real Boss is! Who do we truly serve? Isn’t our service way beyond the demands of our work? Aren’t we serving the One who placed us here for a purpose? We may not realize as of yet just what that purpose is supposed to be, but sooner or later, if we start performing our work “with all of our hearts”, it will become clear. In all reality “no matter who happens to be giving orders, we’re really serving God!”
God is quite different from any of the bosses of this world. What other boss urges us to call Him Father? What other boss loves us enough to be willing to die on a cross to guarantee our forgiveness as well as a glorious future? His resurrection became a guarantee that we have someone who stands by us and not the other way around. A boss that sacrifices himself for us is a boss that truly deserves loyalty. And it’s Him we serve, no matter who is paying our paycheck!
“Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people, because you know that you will receive your inheritance from the Lord as the reward. Serve the Lord Christ.” (Col 3:23-24, NIV2)
What if our boss is pure evil? “Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” (Rom 12:21, The Message) Such an attitude will change the atmosphere in any workplace.
Instead of anticipating a paycheck, let us hunger for the reward that awaits us. This will blow our minds! If God loves us so much, we can be assured that our future will be truly glorious and beyond our imagination!
“His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’” (Matt 25:21)
Once we are serving our Heavenly Father through our work, we won’t be able to stop ourselves from genuinely smiling. We have a future! Imagine that! And a glorious future at that! We have a Heavenly Boss who truly cares for us. We have a purpose that will invigorate us! “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1Cor 10:31, NIV)
Just recently I noticed the following headline in a Chinese newspaper: “There goes a selfless teacher”. A teacher of a primary school since 1979, located in the isolated, mountainous and impoverished village of Dayadong in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, has made the headlines of his country. Why? For the simple fact that he puts his students first in his life, even above his very own interests.
The school used to have six teachers with about seventy students. In 2009, a restructuring plan by the local School Board transferred most of the teachers and students to a better-equipped school in a nearby town. Some students could not afford the move, and this very special teacher insisted he stays behind with the remaining six first-graders and six preschoolers. Anyone would dream to work in a fancy school, especially if there is a pay raise associated with it. Not so with him.
This teacher does way more than just teach children. He walks them home, cooks for them and even babysits them. He makes an impact on these children, an impact that will last for eternity.
How will others remember us from the time we spend at work? Are we making a difference?
Frowning or smiling depends solely on the condition of our heart. Circumstances can affect us, but just like Jesus, we can rise above these!