Do You Find Joy in What You Do?

I suppose an easier way to phrase this question is, “Do you enjoy your job?” But the more I’ve thought about the question the way it’s phrased in the title, it’s proven to be very thought-provoking. You see, I’ve found from my own human nature, as well as talking to other people, that no matter what occupation we find ourselves in, it seems there’s always something we can complain about. And the nature of our complaints can range from feeling tired, to griping about unhappy clients, to not getting a big enough paycheck or wanting a raise, to systems not working properly, to an unreasonable amount of stress, to an uncomfortable inconvenience such as spilling water down the front of your shirt. Yes, all of these unfortunate circumstances could justify our complaining, but complaining does no one any real good. It exhausts those around you or feeds their own ungrateful spirit and causes a negative attitude to emerge. And letting a negative/ungrateful attitude take root clouds our ability to see the good things we’ve been given and find joy in our work and life.

As I’ve been evaluating this area in my own life, I’ve been asking myself, “Why is it so hard to NEVER complain? Why can’t I just always be thankful for everything?” I have come to believe that the honest truth is that it’s a part of our fallen human nature. Because of this nature we’re apt to be greedy, ungrateful, impatient, etc. However, there’s another nature we’re imprinted with, and that’s the nature of a perfect God who gives us exhortations like these…

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. –Ephesians 5:16-18

Do all things without grumbling or disputing,… -Philippians 2:14

Because of these two natures that battle within us, we have to make a choice each and every day: give in to our flesh (complain/be ungrateful) or be filled with joy and thankfulness.
Whether you’re working your dream job or not, every occupation is going to have its ups-and-downs; its good days and bad days. But having a thankful attitude will make a world of difference for when those downs and bad days arise! Over the past week or so I’ve been discovering just how much of a difference being thankful can make…

…When you’re about to complain that you have to go in to work, you can find joy in the fact that you have a job.

…When you’re about to complain about working with unappreciative people, you can still find joy in serving people.

…When you’re about to complain that your products are going unnoticed, you can still find joy in the fact that you had the resources to make something that could potentially impact someone’s work and life.

Our attitude greatly affects our relationships, work productivity, and influence. So let’s inspire people by tossing aside tendencies to complain and use those moments to be thankful and find joy in what we do!

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