Amping Up the Joy in Our Work

At one point or another, we’ve probably all found ourselves out-of-love with our work. Weather your work is in an office, caring for a loved one or changing diapers, you’ve probably had days like me. Days of daydreaming of swinging in a hammock on a beach. With a cold drink in one hand and a good book in the other. And someone fanning me. And sparkles on the water…

Wait. Sorry! My day-dreaming took over, so I’m glad you’re still here.

See, just like I said in today’s devotion, seeing work as drudgery happens to the best of us. Only turning our work into worship gives it worth.

Sometimes it hard to shift from drugergy to delight, though. Here are a couple of ways I’ve found to amp up the joy in my work when it’s dulled:

Start Observing a Sabbath

This might seem like a pretty hard-core place to start, but in the last year, God’s been showing me that it’s crucial. The word “crucial” might reinforce our thoughts as an obligation, so let me try again. God’s been showing me that Sabbath is one of His most delicious gifts to us!  Here’s what Isaiah 58: 12-14 tells us,

If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

Let’s start with the promises. God promises us JOY and TRIUMPH, opposites of drudgery. He says we’ll feast on our inheritance, a picture of abundance instead of scarcity. That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Really different than dragging ourselves through each work day.

But there are some “ifs” that precede the promises. To receive those blessings, God tells us that we need to keep the Sabbath holy, call it a delight and follow His ways rather than our own. There’s so much here that we could spend weeks just on this passage.

The gist is that the Sabbath is meant to be a blessing to us, something for our benefit that increases our joy. Let’s embrace that truth instead of believing that Sabbath is an inconvenience (which I have to confess I’ve done for years)! I don’t want to lay out a set of rules about how that’s supposed to look, but I want to encourage you to do what I’ve been implementing better recently.

Take a day off to worship. To rest. To relax and enjoy.

It’s strange how simply taking a Sabbath changes the rest of my workweek, infusing it with more joy.

Re-Focus on the Good

Years ago, a friend asked how my job was going. I shared for awhile, but then I said, “I like my job, but it’s not awesome every day.”

I’ll never forget his apt reply. He said,”Well, if you loved it every day, it would be your hobby, not your job!”

I laughed, but he’s right. Every job we’ll ever have has up-sides and down-sides. Focusing on the positive will help us see our work in a better light than if we focus on the parts that we don’t like.

Here’s an easy exercise to help shift our focus: Divide a paper in half. Start with all the things you don’t like about your job. Here’s your chance to get it all out! (I don’t recommend sharing this with your boss, though.)

Now, on the other half, write down all the things you enjoy about your job. Once you’re done, pray and ask God to help you focus on the positives. As my friend Holly always says, “What we focus on grows.” She’s so right! Multiple times, this little exercise has shifted my feeling about my work back toward joy.

If you’d like to hear more about joy and worship in our work, I’d love to introduce you to Grit ‘n’ Grace, a podcast that I co-host with Cheri Gregory.

Click on the graphic below to visit our site and listen. We’re all about laughs with learning mixed in, so we hope you’ll subscribe and join us every week!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Words of encouragement …thank you Amy. This from not only a perfectionist but one with OCD and a people pleaser. Thank you, Amy

  2. Oh how timely this is. I can’t keep up at work and there are days I just want to throw in the towel but obviously I can’t! I was having issues with a coworker but I think that has been handled now. And just trying to keep up with the demands of my job has me stressed beyond limits. I would love to be able to quit my job and do my speaking ministry full-time but I don’t think that’s the right answer at this time in my life either. I need to trust God to lead me and in order to do that, I need to get back to worshipping Him and keeping the Sabbath holy. Thank you so much!

  3. Hi Amy,
    Joy in my work is something I fluctuate in and out of, like an ebb and flow. I will be enjoying my job, then something throws me off. Thank you for that insight that if I focus on the unchangeable (my Lord and worshipping Him through my work), then I’ll be in better stead to experience joy in my work, I love that you shared Suzie’s request that the Lord turn her work into worship and your insight that this is what gives it worth. Thank you, thank you!

  4. Hi Amy,

    Thank you for your devotion today from Proverbs 31. There was much wisdom and enlightenment in it for me!
    It was also an answer to prayer as I was just seeking God to increase my worship and service to Him, while I also feel that my daily activities have become mundane. Thanks also to Dawna for the Col 3:23 verse.

  5. Hi Amy, I am new to your blog and I’m looking forward to reading more. I loved this piece. I jumped over here from the proverbs devotional this morning. Signing up for your blog. I’m a new blogger so I am always looking for new bloggers with whom I can relate. I have a son who is 18 and a daughter who is 16. I went and listened to the pod cast about teenage rebelian and parenting adult children. Loved it! Blessings.