There is a joke I heard years ago about a parent shopping in a toy store.  Looking at a particularly interesting toy, the parent asks the clerk, “Isn’t this toy a bit complicated for a small child?”  The clerk replies, tongue-in-cheek, “It’s an educational toy, designed to adjust the child to today’s world.  Any way it’s put together, it’s wrong.”

After you finish laughing, you have to agree we have all felt that way, and sometimes for days at a time!  It often seems no matter what we put our hands or minds to it comes out wrong.

How many people in today’s world find they don’t like the jobs they worked so long and hard to attain?  Adults are returning to school in the middle of their careers to learn additional skills or completely change goals.  Some are even quitting work and getting loans to begin their own business in a totally unrelated field (lawyers opening home-made chocolate stores).

Why do we so often feel all our work is for nothing?

Might it be that no matter what man tries to put together, it comes out wrong?  Could it be that we have focused our minds on something other than what God intended?  We can be guided by 1 Corinthians 15:58 where we’re told that our “labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

And in Colossians, Paul said, “and whatever you do, do it with enthusiasm, as if you’re doing it for the Lord” (3:23).  And Paul goes on to give us the reason for working in this manner:  “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive your reward” (vs. 24).

Does this mean we must quit our jobs and become a full-time missionary?

This is when looking at the whole counsel of God helps us with insight into what God means for our individual lives.  In my view, I’m thinking God’s Word speaks of what my attitude about whatever work I do is what counts.  Going back to that verse in 1 Corinthians, I think that the words “In the Lord” hold the key.

Scripture seems to teach that we need to glorify God in our profession, but we do not have to be working in a “Christian” profession.   (Did you know that while he was preaching, Paul was a tent maker?)  Bringing God into our work so we feel we are not working in vain is not only in accordance with the Word of God, but it also brings a joy into each day’s work which probably was missing before.

Letting God’s Spirit control our thoughts and energy will help us bring about a God-centered workday.  As each problem or task comes before us—at work, home or school–it also comes before God.  Asking God’s help and support allows Him to have the glory for our attitude and our work.

Give it a try for two weeks…you can do anything for two weeks, right?   Take assessment at that point, and you may have a clearer answer as to whether things are really always coming out wrong.

by Cindy Best

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