When we go to work, we have a great opportunity to build the Kingdom of God in various domains: (See Lumen Gentium, para. 31). This is because Christians are like salt in food or yeast hidden in dough, creating a difference that can be seen, felt and even tasted: John 3: 8.
Jesus also called us to be light in this world. Showing others good example and a path to the ultimate Light of God. Here are some ways to ensure that your salt keeps its saltiness, that your yeast, keeps its active state and that your light shines bright, always.
1. Reframe Work as Offering
Begin your day with the morning offering prayer. Reaffirm this prayer in your heart from time-to-time while you work. Invite Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the Saints to do your work with you especially those ones you are not motivated to do. Offering your work in this way means that God can use it for an infinite purpose – beyond what you could ever ask for or imagine.
2. Perfection not Perfectionism
Work with intensity of purpose: to do a good job. A good job is a good offering to God. Serve your employer as if you are the owner of the business. Work hard to ensure that you are contributing to the overall success of your organization. Avoid workaholism and perfectionism. Try to aim for that sweet spot between hard work and good health. This often means working hard to produce your very best. Being available to support a colleague who needs help, being flexible to work extra hours for a project, while keeping these occasions of overtime to a minimum.
3. Purify Your Intention
Ask yourself: why am I working? Is it simply to make money? This is fine. However, the motivation for money should be elevated. To do this, make your intent include the desire to participate in the creative activity of God. To do this, your work must be done well. You must put others first. Serve them well, bring peace and healing, increasing your compassion and empathy. Pray silently in your heart for people you see and encounter. Then suddenly, checking tickets at the door or pacing the mall as a security officer, entering data into excel or writing long reports, become a platform to serve and cooperate with God. Then your work takes on another dimension. It goes from a mere human product to a divine product which God can use infinitely to help others.
4. For the Glory of God
Are you working for your own glory? Do you work to be admired as smart or the best? As Christians, we are to give glory to God alone. This is because, once we are in the grace of Christ, it is no longer us who lives but Christ living in us: Gal 2:20. Give glory to God when people praise you for the work you do. You can do this internally in your heart or express it. Afterall your talents did not come from you but ultimately from God who gave them to you through your genes and life experiences.
5. Make Friends
Do not be indifferent to your colleagues at work. Make friends with your colleagues even if you do not like them humanly-speaking. They are potentially your co-creators with God. Therefore be open to them. Respect is important. Listen to them. Help them find Christ through your example of good work and good virtues.
6. Conquer these Temptations:
|TEMPTATION||HOW TO OVERCOME THEM|
|Laziness||Fight the temptation to do the barest minimum. Purify your intention so that you are motivated by the opportunity to co-create with God.|
|Tiredness||Push yourself to work as long as you have been paid to. Unless you have a health condition, tiredness can be overcome when you put service to others first|
|Envy||Do you have a colleague who seems to always be ahead of the game or doing better than you? Do not compare yourself too much. See her as an opportunity to learn where possible. Befriend her to learn more. Give thanks for that person’s talent. Ask God to help you grow in your talents too. Note that your talent may not be the job you are doing.Therefore comparison on a particular task or job is pointless. Aim to, and work hard to improve. Essentially, do your true best. Once you do that, do not overly criticize yourself negatively if someone is better than you on a particular task. God has not asked for you to be number one. He wants you to offer your best (your true best) and to use that to serve him through service to others.|
|Distraction||Is there another place that you would rather be? Fight lack of interest by calling on Christ or the Saints to come and do the work with and for you. Put a small photo of Jesus, Mary, Joseph or any of your favourite Saints in a discreet place where you can see them at work. This way you can be reminded to say a quiet prayer in your heart while you work. Actively imagine with faith that one of the Saints is typing your paper or answering the phone, cleaning the room or serving your patient at the hospital through you. You will see what difference this makes in your motivation, energy and success in both service and results.|