‘Work’ Needs a Public Relations Makeover
By: Robert J. Tamasy
This edition of “Monday Manna” is scheduled to arrive in email boxes all around the world on the day observed in the United States each year as “Labor Day.” Similar observances are held in a number of other nations, including Australia, Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago, and Syria. It was created in part to recognize the importance of skilled labor and hard work in the development of nations such as these. (It does seem ironic that Labor Day is a day when many people enjoy a holiday from work.)
You could say that “work” suffers from bad public relations. Work is often regarded in less than glowing terms, defined by some “a necessary evil.” Many people regard work as something to grudgingly endure during the week, waiting impatiently for weekends when they can stay home or do whatever they choose, freed from deadlines, responsibilities, and expectations of their bosses.
A friend of mine used to say, “I love work – I could sit back and watch people doing it all day.” Translation: Work is best left for someone else to perform. Although understandable, this kind of attitude is unfortunate, since it denies the inherent virtues and glory of work – and of being a worker.
Interestingly, some of the most positive aspects about work can be found in the timeless book about the realities of everyday life, the Bible. Here are some of the insights it offers:
· Work provides a productive way to expend time and energy. Realistically, if it were not for work, how would we consume the 24 hours we have each day that we do not spend eating and sleeping? And there is much satisfaction derived in a job that has been done well. “A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).
· Work enables us to utilize innate talents, abilities and gifts that we possess. Each of us is uniquely equipped for different types of work, able to do things that others cannot. “I praise you (God) because I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12).
· Work supplies a means to provide for our needs and those of our loved ones. There seems to be a growing sense of entitlement within society, but the adage remains true: “The world does not owe you a living.” As adults, we must shoulder the responsibility of providing for our needs and meeting our financial obligations. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
· Work enables us to serve others. Whether we are working to sell computers, heal diseases, teach young people, write a book, build a house, grow food, or repair a machine, what we do can greatly enhance the lives of others. “Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardships; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you” (1 Thessalonians 2:9).
· Work brings glory to God. As we work, we recognize God as the source of everything – our intellect, our abilities, our opportunities, even our motivations. So in working, we can honor Him. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus…. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:17,23-24).
Until next week!
Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit corporation based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran of more than 35 years in professional journalism, he is the author of Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace (River City Press) and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring: 10 Proven Principles for Developing People to Their Fullest Potential (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or www.rivercitypress.net.
© MONDAY MANNA is a weekly issue of CBMC INTERNATIONAL a non-profit, evangelical ministry that exists to serve business and professional people as followers of Jesus; to present Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to business and professional men.