Updated: Jan 11, 2020
My original blog post was tabled for this week because Pastor Chris brought (clap emoji) the (clap emoji) WORD (clap emoji). It was exactly what I needed to hear and I wanted to expand on the message with some goals to apply for the rest of this year. As some of you know, I always do a #Last90Days Challenge where I set goals for the last three months of my year. I always include a health goal and a personal growth goal, but the goal that I knew I would struggle with the most is starting my day with gratitude. Not because I am not thankful, but because I allow my agenda and frustration to steal my gratitude, especially at work. I made this goal and as usual, the enemy made a plan against it. I was crying on the way home from a hard day at work not 24 hours later.
Frustrated and tired after our game, I walked into church on Sunday not really planning to bring much to the table. My mind wasn't open and my heart wasn't ready. But, Chris Hodges was up in my business yet again and created a sermon just for me based on stress in the workplace. To watch the full sermon, click the link below:
How bad are we about not reading the Bible for context? Picking and choosing one or two verses that seem to correlate with our situation without researching the backstory (also another Last 90 Days goal for me: more RESEARCH in my reading). We read passages from Paul about joy not realizing he is sitting in prison. We read praises from David not realizing he was angry with God. I was guilty of this exact thing during this sermon...
I have read Colossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things." I appreciate this verse because it reminds me that this is not all there is. However, Colossians 3 has more to say about where our focus should be:
Colossians 3:12-15 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive each other whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as member of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
@Paige Wetzel. As I'm writing my notes, I wrote-- the root of my frustration is always unforgiveness, wondering why people don't see it my way and holding it over their heads. I also underlined "you were called to peace." I think the word "peace" can have many connotations, but I explained to myself in my notes: a Godly peace does not mean I don't have to care anymore. It means God already has a plan for how it works out therefore, there's nothing for me to figure out. Just be obedient and know it's already done! Thinking these thoughts as they relate to my job is so convicting. It's an area where I don't practice what I preach. I truly know how to be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient as well as thankful... unless my to-do list isn't done or my opinions are not heard. Sometimes my workplace feels like the place where my faith can't be applied. There's just too much to do, too little time to do it, and not everyone believes the way I do, so why bother? Summed up: because of Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord and not for man." Three tips were shared with us during this sermon:
1. Discover my real purpose here-- Paul overcame hardships by remembering his mission from God.
2. My vocation is my ministry location-- I am where I am for a reason and I need to take responsibility for it!
3. Remember who I answer to-- At the end of my life, will we go over audits, planners, or wins and losses? No but we will discuss how much of that was influence by God.
I have made a list of things I plan to apply to my workplace today:
1. Take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. Every negative thought will be corrected.
2. Set alarms in my phone that are labeled with Colossians 3 ("bear with each other and forgive", "set your mind on things above", "Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart"). These are scheduled to interrupt my busiest times and get my perspective back.
3. Remember my work is my worship! It's what I actively do every day that can glorify the Lord.
4. Find ways to brighten everyone's day without any expectation of reciprocation.
5. Look at my to-do list a different way. Think of it as the way I can ease everyone's mind by making great plans, communicating, receiving feedback, and working quickly.
Please don't take my word for it. Go back and watch this message and see how your own eyes are opened to how much of a difference you make right where you are!