By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Is it acceptable if what you do for a living makes you happy? Better yet, is it acceptable if what you do for a living makes you miserable? The job you secured was no small task and it is surely not something you should take for granted. There are upwards of 100+ people who apply for every open job. The work you put in to position yourself a cut above the rest shows you are diligent and resourceful.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (ESV): I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
We are to be joyful in all our endeavors because they are a gift from God. Your job, your education, and your lifestyle are the result of God showering blessings on you. The work you put in to multiply your gift is similar to the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14–30). It pleases God when you put in the work to grow your gifts.
Proverbs 22:9 (ESV): Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men
There are several passages throughout Scripture where the skilled are being recognized. God wants us to find joy in our toils, even though they can be grinds. Things are not going to come easy, and you have to be motivated by something other than personal gain. Scripture says we are to work our jobs as if we are working for God (Colossians 3:23). When we look at every opportunity as an opportunity to further the kingdom of God, we will be suited to work with love and patience.
2 Timothy 2:15 (ESV): Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Work ethic is not something you can turn on like a switch. Either you are responsible and committed, or you are someone who does the minimal and hopes to get by. The apostle Paul refers to himself as the most zealous and it is evident in all aspects of his life. When he was persecuting the church, he was signing the death certificates and dragging Christians out of hiding. When he became an apostle, he wrote the majority of the books in the New Testament, worked without accepting pay, trained disciples, and traveled to spread the word. Paul found joy serving the Lord in all aspects of his life. His second job as a tentmaker allowed him the ability to decline pay from the church. While it may have appeared to be unrelated to the church, Paul allowed the churches to help others every time he declined pay. Is it okay to be happy with the work you do? Yes, as long as you understand the glory goes to God and everything you accomplish is a blessing from Him.