Work … A Matter of the Heart

There are various reasons why people get a job and what causes them to perform their work the way they do. Of course, the most obvious reason why people work is to provide the necessary means to live and support a family. However, there are those who want to work because they have a driving passion to succeed and accomplish personal goals, status, and financial success. Then there are others who seek to get their dream job. Then again there are those who just want to have a safe and secure job and thus pursue a job in a particular company because of its good reputation of providing good employee benefits. And lastly there are some who work like a machine, functioning and operating without any personal interest or involvement.

I love the story of the “Shoe-Shine Man” who worked at a major US airport. It seems that he learned to do more than do a good job at shining shoes; he saw his whole being involved in what he was doing. The story goes that business people enjoyed sitting in his seat to have their shoes shined, not because they were enamored with his job… but because they were intrigued by how he engaged personally with them in conversation and took interest in his work, paying close attention to details. A friend of mine, who watched him over time, decided to find out what made this man operate like this, so he stopped by his chair to have his shoes shined. While watching him do his job joyfully, my friend asked, “What makes you tick in such a way that people enjoy coming to you?” He didn’t miss a beat by answering, “It is because of my relationship with Jesus Christ!” My friend came to realize that this man did not necessarily speak about his faith right away with his customers, but he did exhibit it by putting his whole person into it by how he performed his job and treated each of his customers as he engaged in conversation with them.

We are told in Ephesians 6:5-6 that performing our job should be a matter of the heart. In the Bible, the heart is considered the core of our being, not simply the physical organ in our chest. The Ephesians passage says that we are to first do our work as unto Christ with a sincere heart. The idea here is singleness of purpose, instead of doing your work from mixed motives, do it for the one underlying purpose… as unto Him. Then it goes on to say that performing our job is a matter of our doing the will of God from the heart. This makes our work more than a thoughtless function or a driven passion. It is holy and therefore the will of God that our whole being is presented to the Lord as we perform our work. If not, then as Christians we can easily get ensnared by many misleading motives that can affect us personally as well as the performance of our work.

God is not asking us to just perform our job description…He is asking us to do it with our whole being, and completely as unto him. (PMC) Consider this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Luke 10:27)