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December 31, 2012 / glennlim thots

Put your Heart into your Work!

Colossians 3:23 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

Recently it weighed heavily on me again as I revisited this Bible verse. Over the years, this verse has served as a compass of sorts when I work on different projects. As a workplace philosophy, It has guided me in 3 distinct aspects:

1) “WHATEVER you do”

Some things in life we don’t get to choose. There’s no such thing as selective job description. Because in God’s scheme of things, the world doesn’t revolve round us. There will be situations we can’t control. Some work we will like doing, other times it may not seem appealing. The key word is WHATEVER u do.We don’t get to pick-n-choose. If we are truly surrendered servants of the Lord, the job scope given us is never on our terms. The true test of character is when one fulfills responsibilities for whatever task is given, despite how one feels about it.

This first aspect addresses the WHAT we do.

2) “with all your HEART”

The 2nd aspect addresses HOW we do it, the Attitude behind the work. It’s not just working with our Hands, it’s working with our Hearts. It’s from a deeper internal resource from within us. We muster that strength from the depths of our hearts that will determine how our hands move. It shows in our work. There’s a certain pride in the way we do things. There is commitment. There is passion. We pour ourselves into a particular task. We won’t stand for mediocrity, because we have a high level of ownership in its fruition. Work doesn’t become a chore, it becomes a joy, because it comes from the heart.  One really needs no job description when u do things with passion.

3) “for the LORD”

This 3rd aspect addresses the WHO we do it for, the Motive of our working. It ties in with the 2nd aspect. Because whomever we work for determines the quality of our work. If I work for someone I don’t respect, it shows in shoddy, half-hearted service. But if I work for a King, my attitude shifts immediately into hi-gear. I would be striving for excellence in every detail, because I want to please the King. The secret in doing/giving with all your heart is in who u serve. That’s why the verse admonishes us to work for the Lord, not for man. Anytime we work for imperfect man, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

I am quite convinced that the ONLY posture worthy to serve with all our heart is one of Total Surrender.

Anytime we lay down terms, we are not serving God, but man (in this case, ourselves). We end up blaming, griping, complaining. That’s because we have unmet expectations…But since when did serving the Lord come with man’s expectations?

Let’s do a self-examination…An unfulfilled job could point towards an unsurrendered life

So, stop laying down terms, start laying down your life…

______________________________________________________

Below is a book review I did recently, which really underscores this concept from a secular workplace perspective…

In his phenomenal book LINCHPIN, Seth Godin talks about what it takes to become indispensable in the workplace – whether you work for someone else or are self-employed. It’s about how business has rapidly changed and how we cannot afford to think and work like factory workers. It challenges you to rethink how you do your ‘job’.

“If all you can do is the task and you’re not in a league of your own at doing the task, you’re not indispensable.”

There is much to glean from this book, but I’d like to focus on one. In particular this one – “Everyone’s an artist now.”

By Seth’s definition, an artist is not just some person who messes around with paint and brushes, an artist is somebody who does (and I LOVE this term) “emotional work.” It is work that matters, work that you put your heart and soul into. Work that you gladly sacrifice all other alternatives for. It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it.

The only people who have a hope of becoming linchpins in any organization, who have any hope of changing anything for the better in real terms, are those who have the capacity to do “emotional work” at a high level—to be true artists at whatever they set their minds on doing. The guys who just plod around the office, just turning up for their paychecks… Well, those guys effectively become liabilities. The world is just too interesting and competitive now.

And Seth then challenges us, the readers, to become linchpins ourselves. To make the leap. To become artists. To do emotional work, whatever the sacrifice may be. A linchpin is someone that is remarkable. They bring the emotional labor to their work. They pour themselves into what they do because they know it is the right thing to do, and they become better people for living and working this way. This also makes them very scarce, and that scarcity makes them valuable – indispensable.

When emotions are vested into something, we move differently, we give ourselves more fully, more passionately, with more conviction and soul…give yourself fully into the Lord’s work, and pour into it your best, your all…

1 Cor 15:58 – “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. expressed, ‘If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.’

This new year, give yourself fully into your work!…Glenn Lim

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