Yesterday I took a poll. At the time, I didn’t even realize it was a poll, but as the responses came in I realized how similar our situations even when our vocations and workplaces are unrelated. First, I want to thank all my friends who weighed in on the question: Just wondering. Does anyone else get really tired of making enemies at work just because you do your job well? Thank you Linda, Robbin, Chris, Jill, Sharlene, Helen, Jennie, Michelle, Melissa, Carol, Betty, Patty, Jan, Dee, Cari, Melanie, Doris, Rian, Susan, Kathy, John, and Judy.
I have always believed in every job and every task, my first priority is what God says in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters … It is the Lord you are serving.” Sadly, it’s never perfect, but it’s not for lack of effort. This is what I’ve noticed and by the responses to my unintentional poll yesterday, I’m not alone with this impression. When we pour ourselves into a task because we love it, or because it needs to be done, or because we know its value, or because it was assigned to us, long hidden conflicts can erupt. For anyone reading this, please don’t think that anyone got out the vat of tar and barrel of feathers yesterday. It’s not like that. The details of the interactions are immaterial at this point, but here’s what I can tell you and based on the stories shared yesterday, I’m going to take a wild guess here – you will relate to it.
Ecclesiastes 3:22 says it’s OK to enjoy our work. “So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot.” I’m a technical writer at Amway. It’s a contract and will soon end, but while I am there, I am enjoying the work and am working at it with all my heart. Years later God supports what he in Ecclesiastes over in Isaiah 65:22 “My chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.” When I work for you, this is what you get – not perfect, but you get my best. At birth I was given the gift of help and the gift of encouragement. When you ask for help, I’m going to drop what I’m doing and come to assist you because that’s who I am. I love team work and when I’m on your team, I’m going to give you more than 100% because I want you to be successful. 80% of my job is making my boss, my team, and my organization look good. It takes no effort for me to do this because that’s how God made me. In my past I have been labeled the eternal cheerleader, servant leader, inspirational greeting card, human sponge, and go-to person. I’m not telling you that because I think I’m great. I’m telling you that because I know many of you reading this will say the same things about yourselves.
In my experience, most people work very, very hard. They put in exhausting hours and feel like they are unappreciated. Unfortunately, sometimes that’s true, but most times I think none of us really know how to express appreciation for all the work that gets done. We take each other for granted. Then – like yesterday when a helper comes along and gives 120% to the task because of the one goal of making the team look good – that undercurrent of feeling overworked and unappreciated erupts. The thing is – even though it was the wrong perception, it was that person’s reality. Things will calm down, life will go on, today will be better than yesterday because that’s what my day is built around and what I’ve prayed for. Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
One of my managers told me once that the reason I was given certain assignments is because I knew how to get things done. I don’t know about that, but I know if it involves helping it’s simply using my God-given gift. 80% of my job is making you look good. If you’ve read all the way to the end today, I know you can relate to this story. I know that when you say, “I just want to help” you mean it with the most sincerity; you are saying, “I want come to your aid so you and the team look good.”
This is the same song I chose for yesterday, but it applies even more today. We all try hard – harder than we need to sometimes. It’s who we are …. Romans 12:9-12 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”