Tag Archives: good job

To the Work

No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better – because your job is to try to help everybody else get better. ~Jim Yong Kim

“Some people hold up signs saying ‘Will work for food’. If you think about it, that’s like slavery.”

It was a conversation with an eleven year old and he was talking about things to be thankful for. I’m guessing he isn’t thankful for work. I know he’d rather play video games or watch a football game than finish his schoolwork.

The thing is, a lot of people feel like their work, their job, is slavery. Toil, struggle, unfulfilling, just a paycheck.

Jesus tells his followers that their work is to believe in the one he has sent.

Hardly seems like work, right?

Until you start to understand what believing in him means.

Belief in Jesus means that you care for the sick. You visit the widow and give to the poor. You pray for your enemy. You have compassion even when you are tired. You carry your cross daily.

Belief is a lot of work. And belief is something you do all the time. Even at work- your job.

Are you a nurse or doctor? Do you pray with or for your patients? Do you go the extra mile to make sure they are taken care of once they are home?

Teachers, do you show your students how to care for others? Do they see you check on other teachers and offer a helping hand?

Mechanics, do you help neighbors with repairs?

Artists, film makers, and authors do you insist on quality that glorifies God? Do you share your talents with nonprofits, the church, or kids’ summer camps?

Waiters, are you patient with the noisy couple and their toddlers? Do you offer smiles and encouragement?

Prison guards, do you extend Christ’s love to your wards?

Peter tells us to live as free people, but not to take advantage of our freedom. We are to live as slaves to Christ. (1 Peter 2:16)

Are you a slave of the Master? Even at work?

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 as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free. Ephesians 6:5-8 NIV

Good Job

I knew what my job was; it was to go out and meet the people and love them. ~Princess Diana

When Matt finished his doctorate our family traveled to Southern California to watch him graduate. Our young boys and I stood outside in the heat, sweat poring down my back. Matt’s name was called, people politely clapped, he walked across the stage, and . . . the next name was called.

That’s it?! I remember being so let down. I mean, he had worked for many long years to get this far. And not just him; we all had worked and sacrificed. Our family had eaten bean burritos and pasta with butter for YEARS. Where were the fireworks? Where was the crashing cannon? Shouldn’t the Blue Angels be zooming overhead?

Can I tell you a secret?

I like to be told when I do a good job. I even let my husband know when to praise me and how to say it.

“When you get home you need to notice how nice the yard looks. I spent five hours out there and my arms are shaking from the weed eater. It needs to be a really impressed, ‘Wow! Traci, what a great job you did. I can’t believe you did that all by yourself!'”

And if he walks in and says something of that sort, but I don’t feel the appreciation in his voice is at the appropriate level, I ask him to go back out and come in again. “This time with feeling, Honey.”

I’m not even joking.

You spend your weekend writing up report cards with personal comments on each student, and you wait for a thank you from parents and principal. Nothing. You buy flowers for the front yard at the homeless shelter and spend Monday evening working in the beds. No one speaks to you. No one?! You make dinner for an elderly couple at church and take it by on Wednesday afternoon. Maybe it just comes out in your conversation that evening at Bible study . . .

You want to do the nice things because it’s the right thing to do, but deep down you want people to notice that YOU are nice.

I tell my husband I’m just trying to help him be godly and follow the proverb: Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth;
    an outsider, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2 NIVUK

The truth is that it is hard to be selfless. We want someone to notice when we make an extra effort, when we go beyond expectations, when we . . . act like Christ.

And it is noticed. Jesus said when you do good deeds, do them in secret so that God can bless you. He also said when you pray do so in secret so that God will hear you. And he added when you fast, don’t let others know, and the Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6)

It isn’t easy, but the reward is much better than the instructed praise I give my husband.

I’m certain I will never ask God to go back out and try again.

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV