Should Christians Strive For Excellence At Work?

By Samantha Png, Singapore

I enjoy work—both work itself and the act of working in a team towards a common goal and then enjoying the fruit of our labor together. In fact, depending on who you ask, I may even be a little too passionate (or obsessed) about getting the job done, and done well.

Initially, I wasn’t sure where this drive towards excellence stemmed from, because I was never pressured nor expected to excel in any area of my life. Neither did my parents expect or encourage me to have sky-high expectations of myself—I was never a star pupil in school, unlike my over-achieving sibling.

But recently, I’ve come to realize how it all started. I didn’t experience some traumatic event or crushing defeat. I did, however, grow in my faith and knowledge of God and His attributes, namely, His holiness, infinite wisdom, and most importantly, steadfastness.

In this day and age where standards waver according to one’s whims and fancies and the gauge of excellence sways accordingly, the only standard that matters and stays constant is God’s. Perhaps that was what sparked the need to take a long, hard look at my current relationship with Him, and how I can draw strength and inspiration from the steadfastness of God.

Was I just drifting through life, moving with the wind and currents? Had I given my best in everything I had done? Was I excelling in the workplace? I think many would debate about this, but my view is that there should be excellence in a believer’s life, because we serve an excellent creator.

So how would this look like? I would like to suggest that excellence is achieved when we glorify God in our work. Laboring for God’s glory means that whatever we do, we do it to please God (Colossians 3:17). This motivation should set us apart from others in this materialistic and self-centered world, where instead of seeking self-glorification, we seek to glorify God; instead of working for man’s praise, we boast in the name of the Lord. In fact, God Himself promises us that if we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these will be given to us as well. (Matthew 6:33)

When we follow God’s will by displaying a positive attitude and putting our best foot forward in all our efforts, the fruit of our obedience may come in the form of outstanding productivity, good relationships with our colleagues, or even promotion and increased salary.

I am still a work-in-progress, trying to let God into every area of my life—especially at the workplace—and trying to be consistent in my actions and motivations.

How about you? What are you chasing? And who are you working for?

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