"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'"
-- Matthew 25:23
Forbes.com recently posted an article about The Happiest Jobs in America--a comprehensive list of occupations based on more than 25,000 employee-generated workplace reviews compiled by online jobs site CareerBliss. The list considered work-life balance, work environment, compensation and growth opportunities, along with several other factors. And if you believe its findings, the happiest employees around happen to be database administrators. The article also reports high satisfaction levels among quality assurance engineers and executive recruiters.
Who are the least satisfied on the job? Apparently security officers, bank branch managers and accountants.
According to the old saying, you'll never work another day in your life if you love what you do for a living. That's when a run-of-the-mill job becomes a passion. But whether you're thrilled with your career or you're simply clocking in the hours for a paycheck, the Bible has some words of wisdom that put things into perspective:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart," writes the Apostle Paul, "as working for the Lord, not for men..."
So whether you're the CEO of an international corporation or a 9-to-5 ditch-digger, you should do your job for God's glory. This means Christ-followers need to consider the workplace as much a place of worship on weekdays as church is on Sundays. What's more, we must work--and live--with the end in mind. Because once we pass into eternity, job titles and salaries will be worthless. Rich or poor, famous or obscure, we'll all have to account for what we did in our lifetimes with the gifts and talents our Creator gave us.
The world's message is that money, position and upward mobility equal a successful career--and that a successful career means a successful life. But this is a distorted viewpoint. While there's nothing wrong with having a large bank account and an impressive job title, these things become obstacles when they're the focus of life and the object of worship. Everything we have--our money, possessions, family and health--is due to God's generosity. He gives it freely. And He can take it away without notice.
God's definition of success comes as a surprise to many. Instead of living self-centered lives on the fast track to stock options and a corner office, our motivation should revolve around being His hands and feet in the home, workplace and community. Our faithfulness to God is therefore the real gold standard of success. Likewise, it's how we should live with the end in mind: always on the job.