Have you ever been accused of being a workaholic? I have, even by my own flesh and blood. It stung when I heard the name used to describe me.
This accusation made me stop and realize that I was at fault for not effectively communicating or displaying the clear differences between being called and being driven.
My response, “working hard is not the same as being a workaholic”.
- Having a job is a blessing.
- Loving your work that you do is a gift.
- Accomplishing your work for the glory of God is an eternal impact.
Put all three together and you can see where someone may blur the lines when it comes to describing your work ethic.
True, many have fallen into the trap of their work becoming everything to them. These are the Driven.
Their main goal is more. A better title, a bigger check, the status of wealth and success. These goals push many onto the train of the driven and they aren’t quite sure how to get off, even if they wanted to.
Their work defines them; their responsibilities determine their days; the admiration of others is an audience they seek to impress at any cost.
They have no hobbies, no time for family, friends, God, or themselves for that matter. They often burn out. And if they lose their job, they feel lost, and without purpose in life.
(Disclaimer: there are seasons of our work that require more out of us. More time and attention is needed towards our work when we have a busy season: like a bridal shop in June, a retailer in December, a ski resort in the winter. Those season may leave you less time for life responsibilities outside of the workplace; you may even feel a bit over-worked; that doesn’t make you a driven person. It is when the season ends and the work commitment doesn’t that you may need to take a step back and look at why you are doing what you do.)
In the same breath let me say: I am a huge advocate of giving 100% of yourself to your work, because it’s God’s work.
Every believer is called to full-time ministry.
Whether you work in a corporate office, a hospital, a restaurant, a factory. It doesn’t matter, you have been called….by God…to be there. You are there to serve Him and serve others; and since the very definition of ministry is “to serve”, your workplace IS part of your full-time ministry. That kind of shift in your perspective will give you purpose in your work, and even enable you to love what you do-when you don’t love what you are doing.
I once worked in a nursing home as a CNA (certified nursing assistant). That position entails some tasks that no one in their right mind would say they “love” to do. Yet, knowing that God had called me to care for these elderly souls, whom God had placed in my care, gave purpose to even the most undesirable of tasks. I was serving both the Lord, and those dear people. That was my ministry.
The Called realize that they are not in it for themselves, but for Christ. They know who they work for and why. A paycheck and a title may be part of their position, but it isn’t the reason they go to work in the morning.
They understand that it’s ultimately God’s job (since it came from Him), and they are merely a steward, taking care of business for God until such time as he calls them to another place or calls them home to heaven.
The called know not only who they are, but whose they are. Their identity is wrapped up in Christ and therefore is not determined by a position or a paycheck.
The called, with God at their center, have a life that God controls and therefore have time to minister to themselves, and their family and friends.
The called do not despair when the markets shift, and they lose their job. They may be concerned, but they know deep within that God’s got them. He will open the door for the next workplace calling in the perfect time, in the perfect place, and for His perfect purposes.
The called depend on God to give them the strength, ability, and perseverance to accomplish what He has called them to do. They do not rest in their power and ability, which is limited; but instead they draw upon God’s infinite storehouses of power to complete the tasks He has called them to finish.
When you know you have been called to where you are in the workplace by the Lord God Almighty, being driven won’t be an option.
Called or Driven.
Which one are you?
Which one do you want to be?