Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful for Your Job

Happy Thanksgiving! It's a time for thankful reflection for family, friends and good health. That's absolutely appropriate but many of us will overlook the blessing of our jobs, co-workers and simply the ability to work.

Earlier in my working life, I've been apt to take my job for granted. However, a number of years ago, following the dotcom bust, I was out of work for an extended period and in some ways, it was the best thing for me. I realized how much I took for granted. I had proudly assumed that I was always employable because that my skills were "in demand". Sure, I acknowledged that it was God who provided for our needs as a family but I didn't truly believe it.

Nine months of unemployment has a way of curing that attitude. I realized that God does provide for me even when I don't truly appreciate it. I realized that if God didn't give me the ability to work, equip me for work or provide the opportunity to work, I would really be destitute. It made me grateful that He does all these things for me.

As we head into economic uncertainty, here are a few things to be grateful for -

- The ability to work. To have the strength and skills to work is something to be truly be grateful for.

- The opportunity to work. If you've ever been unemployed for a lengthy period of time, you know what I'm talking about. When times are good, we assume opportunities will always abound but it's God's kindness that we have work.

- Our co-workers. We spend nearly a third of our week at work and many meaningful social interactions occur at work. Some of the best friendships are developed at work. OK - some of our co-workers aren't so easy to get along with. But even those challenges can be God appointed. They are meant to serve us by helping us grow in patience, kindness and our response may offer an opportunity for the gospel to be preached.

- Finally, we can be thankful that our work doesn't define us. We're made in the image of God - our work is not just provision for us, it's a means for worship. So our work isn't the ultimate, God is. It's a blessing to be able to work without work enslaving and defining our lives.

Do you have any other thoughts along these lines? What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?


Real Live Preacher said...

I'm thankful for my family. And for your blog. I always watch for your posts.

Red Letter Believers said...


I loved "nine months of unemployment...cured my attitude." When things are going really well...its amazing how we forget God. Kind of like Israel?


Every Square Inch said...

RLP - Thanks for your kind words. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

David - all I know is that after 9 months, work starts to look different, better - like a gift from God. At least, it didn't take 40 years. :-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, ESI. Thanks for the good reminder. Work has been going well for me, though it certainly has its ongoing challenges. We were made to work, and it truly is a gift from God we shouldn't take for granted. Even if I don't like every aspect of it. But through such dislikes, as you mention here, we can grow in the Lord.

Every Square Inch said...

Ted - Your appreciation for the gift of fruitful work speaks of God's blessing to you