Day 15 – You and your Work: Vision Planning
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
Work is more than a career
Work is more than a career, because a career only refers to staying in one profession for a long time and potentially progressing. But many of us today spend most of our lives working without it being in one profession or even without pay. We might be students, entrepreneurs, stay at home parents, family carers, pensioners or just retired early. Yet, the verse in Colossians 3:23-24 speaks to all of us. Whatever we do, we should do it excellently, as though we are doing it for God. This is one way of being a witness of Jesus in the World. Imagine, what would our homes, communities and workplaces look like if all Christians did that? There would be less grumbling and more gratitude for starters.
Jesus was a great example of work being more than a career, because we know Him more for what He did in the last 3 years of his life, than for the almost 20 years of work beforehand (Jewish boys started working from age 12 in those days). This is where God’s purpose for all Christians comes back into play: to know Him and to make Him known. No matter what stage in our career we are at, or even if we never had or no longer have one, our purpose of knowing God and making Him known has no expiry date.
A Prayer To Get You Started
Heavenly Father, thank you for the work that you have provided me with. As you have called me to work excellently as though I am doing it for you, please give me the wisdom and patience to do so. Wherever I may struggle with work, please help me to know how to resolve conflict and be a peace. Lord, I want to be an example of Christ in my work, so please help me to fight the desire to grumble and gossip. Instead, help me to be thankful for what I have and remember I am called to know you and make you known.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Food For Thought
What do we need to consider when making plans related to our work? Here are some options:
Studying: this is whatever learning and development we need to consider to begin, maintain or progress our work. It could be learning to be a better parent, studying for a degree or maybe learning a language
Skills: these are the things we are great at that could also make us money. Our skills help solve problems around us and are the best way to pursue excellence in our work. Web design, knitting, or even making lemonade has made people very wealthy, but also created jobs to share that wealth and solve problems for millions of people around the world.
Networks: these are the people that are in our field of practice, including clients, competitors and collaborators. They could also be other parents, pensioners or peers. You never know who you can help, or who can help you within your network. And the benefits of the network grows as the number of people within it does.
Problems; all forms of work are a means to solve a problem. There are no exceptions. Whether you do this for yourself, your employer, or your own clients if you are self employed, there will always be someone who needs a problem to solve. By knowing what these problems are, you can then use what you have studied, the skills you have acquired and your networks to solve them.
Our work can include studying, being a stay at home parent or carer, being retired or having a career. No matter what we do, we are called to do it with excellence and diligence, as though God was our employer and our customer. No matter our employment status, our purpose to know God and make God known has no expiry date and is something we should work on at all times.
Questions to ask yourself
- What is occupying your time the most?
- What studies could or should you be doing to improve your work?
- What skills do you have? What problems can they help solve?
- Who is in your network, what can they offer and what do they need help with? How can you improve your relationship with them?
- If you are retired or unemployed, how are you occupied?
- Are you making God known in your work?
- What would need to change for you to work as though God was your employer?
SMART Goal Setting
Write one or more SMART goals that will help you realise God’s vision for this domain. Remember, a SMART goal is one that is:
S pecific: so you have something to focus on.
M easurable: success is a measure of “how much” “how many” or “when” a goal is reached
A chievable: you can only reach a goal if it is realistic and success is possible.
R elevant: the goal needs to be worth pursuing so you feel encouraged to accomplish it.
T ime bound: you can’t measure or achieve success if there is no end point
Proverbs 22:29 encourages us that when we pursue excellence in our work it will not go unnoticed
Luke 14:28-32 reminds us of the necessity to weigh up the cost before we go about any venture
Tomorrow we review You and your Work: Sustainable Success.
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