In 2014, I was employed in one of the biggest companies in the country and was working for one of the most difficult bosses one could ever have. She was the type who would humiliate you in front of everybody, but would only apologize with a whisper. Somehow she has earned this privilege, for she was really good at what she did. But she rubbed me the wrong way. And because she did her best to push me to the limits every day, I swore to show her.
I did slowly prove my mettle. I worked hard to learn the ropes of my job. But pride and an unhealthy desire to achieve more began to take root and grow in my heart. By a sheer act of mercy, the Lord rescued me from myself. I thought I was “working for the glory of God,” when in truth, I was only striving for excellence in the name of my idol—personal ambition.
I began to turn my gaze upon my Savior and His work in my life. It was a process which resulted in the resolve by His grace to stop searching for meaning and security in the wrong place. “Lord, if I am to find joy in my work at all, then I must be ready to lose it when the time comes,” became my prayer.
Running Away From Compromise
Indeed, the time came for me to leave. The job required me to compromise. Aside from that, I had also been feeling guilty for not spending the best hours of my day with my husband and daughter.
At that point I encountered in a new way 2 Timothy 1:12: “I know in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until the day of His return.”
Ask yourself this important question: What is the source of your joy and fulfillment?
Slowly, I began to see that it is my Savior who owns my life and my work, for He bought me with a price. As my Lord, He does not protect my desires more than He guards His rule in my life. In His eyes, His glorious work of salvation is more important than my career. All prayed up, I gave up my job. I offered it to the Lord.
What the World Wants
So if Christ is enough, why do many of us feel inadequate when we don’t measure up to our culture’s definition of success? As we speak, the desire for achievement is invading and setting up territories in the hearts of men and women alike. Without Christ, we are powerless to fight this invasion!
As for me, it was by His grace alone that I was enabled to choose a path that allowed me to appreciate the beauty of a woman’s calling as a wife and mother. I also now have enough time for cell and prayer group meetings, as well as playdates with other moms and their children.
How about you? Do you work to be applauded, to earn accolades, to “show them,” and to get more? There is nothing wrong per se in desiring to succeed in your workplace, but ask yourself this important question: what is the source of your joy and fulfillment?
Don’t get me wrong—we can succeed in the marketplace and not sin. The Lord after all wants us to work with our hands, to skillfully pursue professions, trades, and vocations; but as we serve in different capacities, are we offering gifts to the Lord that are alive and pleasing in His sight? Are we working to please the Lord or men?
Don’t Fall Into The Trap
Christians can get attached to the emotional and the material fruits of achievement—a promotion, a higher salary, that corner office, special privileges, and a title before our name. When we are not prudent enough, these favors can drive us to make choices that will make our Christianity disappear in the background.
Worse, if we neglect the Lord’s warnings against our culture, we could fall into the trap of thinking that our work is the arena where we must make it at any cost, instead of the altar where we die daily to the worldly desires that can grip us, rob us of joy, and dishonor Jesus, our Master.
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