Sunday, September 30, 2012

Something to Keep In Mind

Here's a verse that I love:

Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.  -- Colossians 3:20

I think this is good advice even if you aren't a believer. I mean, you could take out the God stuff and still be left with a great idea about how to conduct yourself in a variety of settings, couldn't you? Everyone has an authority in their life that, at a minimum, gives direction in one setting or another. Whether it's your manager at work, team leader, coach, teacher, parent, husband or wife. Even if it's just asking for a favor, we're all interacting in a variety of ways.
When I was in college, I had a job that I sucked at. I mean, I was good at the content of my work and the tasks involved in the job, but I was the jerk employee who never did more than the minimum and was very hostile about it. I wasn't doing anything that I had been studying for and wasn't interested in learning any other role than the one I had. Why would I- I'd be graduating soon and then I'd get a great job where I could drink coffee and sit in an office all day!
And then a curious thing happened- I came upon graduation without a job. I applied for 75 jobs in total before I found my first job in my field. So as graduation loomed, I suddenly became very interested in the company I worked for and (here is the truth) in staying employed. But by then, I'd been a marginal employee on my best days and a crap employee on most days. So when I stayed on full-time, I had a lot of humble pie to eat.
I am so embarassed about how I conducted myself at that job. I hate knowing there is a group of people who regard me as a jerk and have every reason to think that. I don't exactly remember what my inner dialogue was that convinced myself that THAT was an acceptable course of action.
There are times in my job when I am asked to help in areas that really have nothing to do with my "regular" job. I get special projects here and there that make me roll my eyes because I really, really don't want to do them. I keep this verse on the tip of my tongue during those times because I know there are good reasons I was asked to help. I know that all my contributions help my department run better. I also know that sometimes, stuff just has to get done and it's only the jerk who would say "that's not my job so I ain't gonna do it". And soon, that person becomes the unemployed jerk. And I am determined that that jerk shall not be me.
This also works at home, within friendships, in volunteering situations, and just basically in life. I'm  going to remind myself about this more often this week- because it's good advice, no matter what God you follow.


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