“… I have learned,” writes Paul Stevens, ‘that it is not the amount of money we make, the prestige of the job, or the social importance of the work that makes us greedy or thankful. Instead, it is the predisposition of our soul. A heart of gratitude lies in being content with what we have and recognizing that everything that comes our way – including trials and setbacks – is a gift.”
Persistent gratitude, according to the authors, is the habit that will nurture goodness and stunt greed in our lives. In the workplace, a grateful life:
- Transforms how we view and experience work: ‘When we are thankful for everything, we discover that problems, difficult colleagues, and personal struggles and losses become a means of grace and learning.’
- Releases us from being controlled by how good and bad things are: ‘A life of prolonged gratitude – thanking God in seasons of plenty and famine – is simply childlike trust that God is God and we are not.’
- Gives God God’s due: ‘Daily life is full of situations where even an occasional breathed word of thanksgiving is transformative.’
Take a few moments to think about your workplace – what has happened there in recent days or weeks that you can thanks God for? Here are just a few suggestions:
- Your co-workers and your boss – people God has given you to bless
- A recent performance review – what did you learn about yourself?
- Tough times when you had to learn to rely on God rather than your own gifts and abilities
- Projects past and present, successful and unsuccessful – again, what did you learn?
- A lunch time conversation that went beyond the weather and footy scores
- The pay and conditions you receive
- The work that God has given you to do and the ability to do it
And that’s just for starters – I am sure there are many more you could add.
Next time: Lust: The Erotic Workplace (Chapter 3)
Stevens, R. P., and Ung, A. (2010). Taking Your Soul to Work: overcoming the nine deadly sins of the workplace. Grand Rapids, Michigan. Eerdmans