General Colin Powell said, “All work is honorable, so always do your best. Someone is watching”. How true. The apostle Paul claimed, “by working hard in this manner you must help the weak”.
In the outrageous book Brain Droppings, comedian George Carlin observed, “Most people work just hard enough not to get fired and get paid just enough money not to quit”! According to Carlin “most people” know nothing about the honor of work.
Sales guru Brian Buffini recalls with audiences working in his father’s painting contracting business as a youth in Ireland. At the end of the day Brian’s dad would review his work and inquire, “Brian, can you put your name to that?” If not, Brian had to stay late and finish the job the right way.
Why do I work hard? Is it for the money? Definitely not. Is it to serve my ego and become the best in my field and win the praise of my colleagues? I don’t think so. Is it because I’m a workaholic and mask the pain of unresolved personal issues with the one thing I know how to do well? I hope not. Paul tells me why I work hard. “…by working hard in this manner you must help the weak.” Apparently, by working hard, I help people less fortunate than me and those unable to provide for themselves. By working hard…
- I help my family enjoy the quality of life they deserve.
- I help less diligent people learn by my example the meaning and value of hard work.
- I help the cause of Christ through the dollars I am able to give.
- I help my treasured clients get what they want and need.
There is honor in work and great honor in hard work. The thing I do is not ‘just a job’. It’s an honorable endeavor and an opportunity to serve Jesus and give to others. Consider this…
“You are your work. Work is personal. The firefighters and all the people in the world Trade Center were at work when they died on 9/11/01.” With God’s help, I will begin this day with a positive attitude toward my job and take to heart the command of Paul: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men”, (Colossians 3.23 NIV).
 Alan Weber of Fast Company and former managing editor of Harvard Business Review.
The black and white image is "The Hand Work Press Logo" for Matt Borghi's East Lansing, Michigan-based letterpress and design studio and used by permission (http://www.thehandworkpress.com/).