Pay or Platform
I once heard a successful man who had gone up the ladder in a company giving advice to a group of young people who were just employed. He said, “The way to be successful is to figure out who is boss, and please the boss.”
There is a degree of truth in that, but I think a greater truth in understanding our work is that we are here to please God, not a boss. Being successful is not just going up higher in the company but discovering how to please God by using our work as a platform to do His ministry.
Paul writes, “Work hard cheerfully in all you do just as though you are working for the Lord, not merely for your employers. Remember that it is the Lord Jesus who is going to pay you, giving you a full portion of all He owns. He is really the one you are working for. If you don’t give your best for Him, He will pay you in a way you don’t like.” (Colossians 3:23 MSG)
The purpose of our work is to please God. Many people talk about getting tired at work. There is a degree of physical exhaustion, but a great source of energy is knowing that we are connected to God to receive His strength in doing what He has called us to do.
Harvard Business Review said that many corporations assume that younger workers have more energy and are therefore more productive. Age is not the determining factor. More people under the age of 45 (43%) say they are exhausted at work than those over 45 (35%). Now get this–they found that the least exhausted workers are those over 60!
I saw a cartoon recently where the boss walks up behind a young employee who was deeply engrossed in playing a game on his phone. The boss said, “Why aren’t you working?” The man looked at him and said, “Sir, I just didn’t see you coming.”
There are a lot of people who are willing to work if the boss is watching. Good employees do their work whether the boss is watching or not because God is always watching, and they work to please God.
Martin Luther once said, “A Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” A work ethic that is motivated by a desire to please God will produce excellent work.
A great golfer emerged this year, Scottie Scheffler. He won the Masters and has been the #1 ranked golfer in the world. Following his victory at the Masters, he was asked at a press conference how he balances his fierce desire to compete without allowing it to define who he is as a person. He replied, “The reason why I play golf is I am trying to glorify God and all that He has done in my life. So, for me, my identity isn’t a golf course.”
He continued, “My wife, Meredith, told me this morning, if you win this golf tournament today, if you lose this golf tournament by ten shots, if you never win another golf tournament again, I am still going to love you and you’re still going to be the same person. Jesus loves you and nothing changes.” Scheffler then said, “All I am trying to do is glorify God and that’s why I’m here and that’s why I am in this position.” Golf is his platform for ministry!
Is your job about pay or platform?