Six Ways to Find Lasting Purpose in Our Work
Dr. Randy Carlson
If you look at the Book of Ephesians and the Book of Colossians, the first half of both of those books have to do with who we are in Christ, our position in Christ and about the power of Christ in the church. The second half of both of those books are about the practical way in which we live.
Paul says in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart as working for the Lord and not for man since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Here are six things that will help us find lasting purpose in our job and in the work that we do:
- See people first and projects second.
I have to admit, I struggle with that. I’m a project-oriented guy and it’s more difficult for me to put people first. But Jesus always put people before His projects. When he was traveling, it was a Samaritan woman that caused Him to stop. The disciples were asking, “Why are you stopping? Let’s get out of Samaria.” He stopped and invested into her life.
Make others’ lives better because of what you do through your work.
Is someone’s life getting stronger as a result of what you’ve done? Maybe you own a business where you make repairs in someone’s home, or you’re a stay-at-home parent, and you’re working with your kids at home. If you can say I made people’s lives better today, that’s worthwhile, right?
- Mentor others.
Jesus had disciples He mentored for three years. How would you like to be mentored by Jesus for three years, to have Him speaking every day into your life? We only get little glimpses of verses here and there of what went on. Think about all the things that we never heard about that Jesus spoke in those private moments in the lives of those men. There are many examples of mentoring others in the Bible, like Paul to Timothy, and Naomi to Ruth.
To those of you who have had some experience, pinpoint where you could be mentoring other people.
- Be responsible for your work but leave the results to God.
That’s a tough one. In our business world, we focus on results, which obviously is important, because if we don’t have a target, we can get lost, right? But if I can only be responsible for my work and not the results, then the numbers, while they’re important to measure for business, are not important to God. God determines the numbers. It’s not the size of this ministry that makes the difference. It’s the effectiveness of this ministry in the lives of people that makes a difference, because, ultimately, it’s going be God, who determines who is will be reached.
- Have daily goals.
We need the big goals, but we also need daily goals. What am I going to do today? What am I going to do in the next hour? What am I going to do before I leave today that is going to make a difference? Who will I touch? Strive to be as effective, to be as professional and to be as godly as you can with that next thing, and it adds up. That becomes a cumulative effect into the lives of people.
- Celebrate small wins.
We need to celebrate more often. The Bible says, “laughter and happiness doeth good like a medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). When we celebrate, dopamine levels in our brains go up. Dopamine functions as neurotransmitters that help our brain to work and keep us in healthy balance. When you’re on the phone with someone, celebrate what God is doing in your life.
So, whatever you do – do it as unto the Lord, because ultimately that’s where our inheritance is.