prisonchaplain

Work is Not Its Own Reward

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Work is important, but it is not the meaning of our lives.  Rather, if we seek diligently, through the leading of the Holy Ghost, we will find labor that reflects our the meaning of our lives. That meaning, of course, is found in Christ.  See the below link for my full treatment.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-hard-its-own-reward-tommy-ellis

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I'm currently in a Psychological Anthropology class and am reading a book titled, "What Makes Life Worth Living?" by Gordon Matthews. It's an analysis of Japanese and American culture and the differences between the meaning of life for different individuals. It's quite interesting and it makes you reflect on your own life and what is your "ikigai" (Japanese for "what makes life worth living"). It's full interview accounts from a variety of ages and backgrounds. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in this idea of "the meaning of life" from other views. 

I found a piece of an interview that I think relates to what you are speaking about. This comes from a young man who lives in Japan and is a member of Soka Gakkai, which is essentially a sect of Buddhism. He says, "For me, Soka Gakkai is more important than the bank (where he works); the root of my life is religion. But my work is also part of my religious practice." (Matthews, p.169)

 

Edited by BeccaKirstyn

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I think we need to distinguish between work and employment.  I believe employment is where we get paid but the work we do is something is a very different thing.  For most this perspective difference does not matter much because we work for some company that provides us pay.  But there is a big difference when someone owns a business.  Or in essence those that work for themselves.

 

Having done both - those that work for themselves are much more dedicated, work harder, work smarter and enjoy their work and it rewards much more.  In fact those that work for themselves often will lose track of the pay they receive - this is because money for work becomes less important.  Jesus understood this principle well and does make example in scripture of the difference in workers and how they view their responsibility - comparing a hireling to the shepherd.

 

I believe Jesus wants us invested and owners of what we do - especially those that serve him and use him as their example.  I honestly do not think Jesus wants us in his employ as a hireling but rather that we take ownership and become a shepherd in our work and service like unto himself.

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It is more natural for small business owners to have a sense of calling, mission and dedication towards their labor. Perhaps those of us working for large agencies fall on the other end of the spectrum. It can be easy to believe we are but a small, inconsequential cog in a grand mechanism. However, such a mindset demonstrate truly shallow thinking. How do I treat my colleagues?  My line staff?  How do I interact with my supervisors, and the executive leadership?  Does my work demonstrate integrity, loyalty, diligence, and our doctrine that when we labor we really work for Christ? 

Meaning can be found in any work.  Those of us blessed to have choices, and to actually discern which work most aligns with what God created us for--well, to whom much is given much is required.

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One could complain about a click-bait topic name.

"Work is Not Its Own Reward"

"Work is important, but it is not the meaning of our lives."

These are not the same thing and they are not in conflict.

Work is, indeed, its own reward, but that does not mean that it provides the central meaning to our lives. That said, men, particularly, often define themselves by their work: "I'm a doctor," "I'm a writer," "I'm an engineer," "I'm a janitor." Some find their employment to be a status symbol, others a lack-of-status symbol.

 But the common theme is, if one takes pride in doing his Job well, he is (or should be) proud of his work. The same can be said of any honest Job. When a "lowly" housewife finishes scrubbing the floor, and she looks at the dirty water in the bucket, she should be every bit as satisfied as Ben Carson when he finished the last suture in a successful operation: an important Job, well done.

Yes, serving Christ, being a true disciple is more about the meaning of life, but work is also important, and it does fill our three score and ten. Good work, work well done makes us who we are. And God doesn't need idle, lazy servants who don't earn their bread by the sweat of their brows.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
clarification

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My greater point is that, as important as it is to work hard, it may be more vital to take the time to find the work that is right. Most people can do most things, but what is God's best for me? Even if I currently labor at something less than optimal for me, I must do my best. However, I still need to pray and discern for when that crucial mission comes along, that God has for me.  "Better is one day in his courts than thousands elsewhere..."

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2 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Most people can do most things, but what is God's best for me? Even if I currently labor at something less than optimal for me, I must do my best. However, I still need to pray and discern for when that crucial mission comes along, that God has for me.

That is just what we'd expect to hear in General Conference.

Lehi

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29 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Lehi's got connections, so I'm wondering when that invite's coming?  I could be the first Non-LDS speaker at Gen. Conf.  :-)

Actually, you wouldn't be...

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Guest MormonGator
41 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

 I'm wondering when that invite's coming?

Usually it's a phone call. I should know PC, I just hung up with President Eyring. Get with the program man! 

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Okay...I wouldn't be the first, and I have to start answering my phone calls again. Plus, I'd only be repeating what Vort hears all the time anyway. Ah well...y'all will just have to keep following the link to my podcasts.  :::sigh:::

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19 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

My greater point is that, as important as it is to work hard, it may be more vital to take the time to find the work that is right. Most people can do most things, but what is God's best for me? Even if I currently labor at something less than optimal for me, I must do my best. However, I still need to pray and discern for when that crucial mission comes along, that God has for me.  "Better is one day in his courts than thousands elsewhere..."

Sometimes I think we miss the forest for all the trees.  But perhaps I can give a symbolic example.  What is the most important work we can do?  I submit the most important work we can do while we are living is to breathe.  I submit that no other work is more important.  Yet as important it is to breathe - as often as I have prayed and asked what I should do - I have never been told to breathe nor can I find any scripture telling anyone to breathe. 

I do not see any profit in asking G-d what work we should be about.  I stated in a previous post we should be shepherds and not hirelings.  I see a hireling as someone that must ask the shepherd what to do - but a shepherd is someone that takes ownership and does what must be done.  We can ask G-d to assist or help us but in my experience if we ask - without applying what we can and should know - we will either remain confused or be misled.  I like the statement that it is "more vital to take the time to find the work that is right".  It is my experience that if it is possible for me to determine what is right - that I must do that first and ask G-d to help me with that which I cannot do.  But if I ever ask for something that is my responsibility - I will not benefit in asking.

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On 2/4/2016 at 10:02 PM, prisonchaplain said:

Work is important, but it is not the meaning of our lives.  Rather, if we seek diligently, through the leading of the Holy Ghost, we will find labor that reflects our the meaning of our lives. That meaning, of course, is found in Christ.  See the below link for my full treatment.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/working-hard-its-own-reward-tommy-ellis

I don't say work is it's own reward, but i do say service freely given is. Good article- I agree that it should have meaning.

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