A Biblical Approach to Your Life's Work
January 1, 0001
"How to Develop Good Work Principles and Habits and Become Effective at What You Do"
Our approach to work is a foundational topic for later discussions on teamwork, management, leadership, etc. How we approach work not only determines future success, but it does impact others in our work environment. Work is an opportunity to express our God-given talents and abilities; and therefore, to produce ultimate satisfaction, peace, and contentment as we go about pleasing Him and serving others. This of course is in opposition to a worldly view of work which aims to not focus on what work does for society and mankind, but rather what it does for self to gain money and leisure. As we pursue this discussion of approach to work, I will encourage us to see our work as a calling first to Christ and then to our vocation. Ephesians 4:1 says "...as a prisoner for the Lord, then I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received." In this verse calling refers to our vocation, but the emphasis is on worthiness, therefore, our standard for determining how we are doing really rests in how we are pleasing the Lord.
We are called to be human beings not human doings. OS Guinness
Biblical principles form the foundation for our approach to work.
A primary value for CU is Christlikeness.
Ephesians 5:1 "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
"Doing is usually concerned with a vocation or career, how we make a living. Being is much deeper. It relates to character, who we are, and how we make a life. Doing is tied in closely with activity, accomplishments, and tangible things-like salary, prestige, involvements, roles, and trophies. Being, on the other hand, has more to do with intangibles, the kind of people we become down inside, much of which can’t be measured by objective yardsticks and impressive awards. But of the two, being will ultimately outdistance doing every time. It may take half a lifetime to perfect...but hands down, it’s far more valuable." Chuck Swindoll
- Be positive. Hire positive people.
- Smile. It’s contagious!
- Build one another up! Encourage. Appreciate.
Be open and honest. Seek the truth in interpersonal relationships and in community.
John 17:17 "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Psalm 51:6 "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place."
NASB = innermost being
II Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the work of truth."
- Say thanks!
We are called to establish good habits.
"calling transforms life so that even the commonplace and menial are invested with the splendor of the ordinary." OS Guinness
"It does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes." Oswald Chambers
Start with the Word - (read it and meditate on it! Psalm 1)
Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
- Arrive early.
- Develop thinking skills.
- Get things done. Finish on time even if it is not perfect.
- Stop and see the big picture. Your part is important to the success of the institution. Learn how your part affects the big picture.
- Have a willing attitude. Say yes to customers.
Ephesians 6:5-7 "slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free."
- Strive for balance in family time, church time, prayer time, personal time, exercise time, etc.
We are called to be effective.
"Effectiveness is learning to do the right things. We can always find things to do, but we need to train ourselves to do those things which will produce the most results." JG
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
- Be proactive.
Act based on your values rather than reacting based on emotion or circumstances.
"Don’t get emotional. Respond calmly with assurance and confidence. Speaking the truth is the best policy..." JG
- Begin with the end in mind.
"Knowing the outcome helps define the needed processes, tasks, timelines, resources, and people." JG
- Put first things first.
"Some things are more important than others-ask if you’re not sure." JG
"It’s better to get started sometimes rather than spending all of your time in planning." JG
- Think win/win!
"Adopting an attitude of creating win/wins will create a cooperative atmosphere." JG
"Respond favorably to others requests whenever you can. Someday they will remember." JG
- Seek first to understand then to be understood.
"Listening is the beginning of problem-solving." JG
"Listening is the beginning of developing direction." JG
- Synergize (creative cooperation).
Encourage critical thinking. Value opinions. Seek solutions.
- Sharpen the saw (self-renewal).
Seek personal renewal and professional development.