Friday, November 16, 2012

How Are We to Conduct Ourselves in Our Daily Work?

Our work is different for each of us, but we must all seek to do it as God's work.  No matter what is the nature of our work, we should view our daily tasks as work that is entrusted to us by God Himself.  Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg outlines the following points of advice.

1.Whatever your work is, do it in accordance with your position and profession.  Do it as if it is for Christ Himself. You should do it with the attitude that it is what God demands of you. In reality you are working for God.  Paul says when speaking to servants, "Whatsoever you do for your masters in flesh, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of inheritance: for you serve the Lord Christ." (Col 3:23)

2. Do all your work from your soul, gladly and with great pleasure without grumbling. Remember, you are doing all your work for God Himself.

3. Do all that is required of your profession or position diligently and correctly. Do not permit any unnecessary slowness or carelessness.

4. If your work goes well and you are successful, do not ascribe this to your own powers, but give thanks to the Lord.  He said to His disciple John, without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

5. If the work you must do is difficult, unpleasant and demeaning, hindered by ill-intentioned people or unfortunate circumstances, and this leads you to feel despondent or disrespected, do not be weak and give in to negative thoughts. Do not allow yourself to succumb to anger, impatience, or grumbling.

6.To help keep your soul in a holy disposition during difficult or unpleasant work straighten yourself with the following thoughts:
   a) Think of this work as given to you by God for your salvation.  This is always God's aim.
   b) Think that his work may be your last of your life and God will when its finished be demanding an account from you as His judgment in eternity.
   c) Remember that these labors which you endure will not last forever. The will cease with the end of earthly life.  What we must prepare for is a life of eternity. The Lord "will render to every man according to his deeds. (Rom 2:6)

7. During unpleasant work you can support yourself with edifying singing while you work.  This cheers and calms the soul.

8. If you are engaged in physical labor that is mechanical in nature, you can reflect on the truths you have learned earlier though a sermon or from what you have read in an edifying book.

9. Think about the purpose of your work as God's work no matter what is demanded by yor position or duty. Think about how it relates to passages in Scripture and the temporary nature of all things of this world.

10. To keep your soul in a holy disposition during your work, frequently raise your heart to God with short prayerful petitions the are appropriate to the disposition of your heart.  If you practice the use of the Jesus prayer, this prayer will be always near to your lips.

11. Metropolitan Gregory says, "Whoever does his daily work in this way is, while toiling to maintain his physical life, working at the same time just as much or even more for the salvation of his soul. He works as he sought to work, for the glory of God. And the holy apostle commands us to do all to the glory of God (1Cor 10:31).

As a footnote he adds, "We should never do work that is incompatible with the law of God."

Reference: How to LIve a Holy LIfe, pp 68-85

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