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My struggle to work

Updated: Aug 23, 2021

Work has always been one of the hardest things in my life. Just like any millennial, I have had multiple different careers as I have searched my heart to do what I feel called to do. I have worked construction for money, I was in the Army for my future, I was a cop to help people, and now I teach for, well ummm to help shape and mold minds.

However, I have been miserable at every single one of these jobs, and yet we all know work is one of those things we have to do. The Bible tells us in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “let he who doesn’t work, not eat.” So, if I want to eat, and I very much do, I have to work. And so begins my dilemma, and possibly yours. I have to work, but I hate what I do.



80% of Americans struggle with this. At least I know I am not some unique case of spoiled kid syndrome. However, it was a conversation I had with a friend recently that helped to change my perspective. My friend was complaining, I mean venting, about his job. As the conversation developed, I explained to him, “it isn’t what you do for 40 hours a week that you live for, it is what you do during the other 128 hours.

As I sat there silently congratulating myself for such good advice, I asked myself, “Why isn’t that your perspective?” I tried rationalizing to myself, “well I am a bivocational pastor, I work way more than 40 hours a week”. Then I tried going, I need my downtime, I need time to just sit in front of the tv and not think about anything.

Then I ended on tv may be from the devil with as much time as I spend there. No wonder I feel like I am always behind, because every chance I get, I am sitting in front of the tv. Then I came to the realization, “I have an idol issue”. To make a long story shorter, I decided to cut out as much tv as possible and to actually live life. To spend time with the ones I love, to go experience things, and to schedule my time.



 

Now, this is a new breakthrough I have had, but so far it is going good. While at work, I work hard like we are commanded to in Colossians 3:23-24, but then I also make sure to make time for other things in my life. It is important to look at life as a marathon and not a sprint. I will not finish all my work today, no matter how hard I work on it. For tomorrow will bring more work. However, it is also important for us to realize there are other things that matter.

For example, you have a finite amount of breaths you will take in this lifetime. James 4 tells us we are a mist that appears for a moment. In the grand scheme of forever, it is true, even if you live to be 100, that is but just a moment. No one has ever said in their last moments, “I wish I would have worked more”. We should live a life that makes every breath count, and not take any moments for granted.

This lead me to another point, we should do something that matters. You will spend a lot of time in your life working, and this is a good thing. Adam was given work to do before sin entered creation (Genesis 1-2), so work in itself is not a bad thing. However, is what you're doing putting food on the table? Is it allowing for you to enjoy the time you are not working? Do you have people in your life to spend time with? These are the things that matter.



If we are trying to get our work to fulfill the holes in our heart like identity or worth, then we have an idol issue. You will never find fulfillment in a job, and understand when you leave your job they will replace you. So maybe the problem isn’t what you do, where you do it, but the amount of importance you place on it.

Anything we place in the position of Lord that isn’t Jesus is an idol, and make no mistake idols look different to all of us. Some of us make an idol of happiness, or content, position, power or money. All these things can be good, but if this is what we are trying to gain from our job we have to rethink what we are doing.

In the end, your job provides you the ability to have food, shelter, and basic wants. However, Jesus is the only One who provides for the deeper needs of the heart.

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