Genesis 2:5b, 15 NIV
“…and there was no one to work the ground. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
I remember the old Dunkin Doughnut commercials where Fred the Baker would rise up early in the morning with dry enthusiasm to head off to work to make the freshest, most delicious doughnuts for his customers. In various 30 second commercials he expressed pride in making the best doughnuts and then he would return home drained with a monotone voice, “I made the doughnuts.” Fred knew his purpose each day in going to work and that is what kept him going. Whether you are at a long term place of employment, a temporary job, a job you hate, a job you love, we can all learn some things from Fred the baker and from our biblical friend Adam about blessings in the workplace.
Some people love getting up going to work in the morning. Some people dread it. Some people hate the job and the people they have to deal with on a daily basis. Some people are in positions that do not match their career goals. Some people are in a position simply because they need to pay the bills and wish they were doing something else. There are so many different attitudes we all portray and for some of us those perspectives change with the days on the calendar. For those of us that are employed if we all went to work with Fred the Baker’s attitude we would see the blessings in the work place.
The Blessing of PURPOSE in the Workplace
In Genesis 2:8-14 God planted a garden full of trees and food. He placed rivers for water and he placed man, Adam, in the Garden. In verse 15 God assigned Adam the Head Groundkeeper/Head Animal Attendant position in the Garden of Eden. There was a purpose for Adam at his job. There was a purpose for Fred the Baker at his job. For some your current job may not be the ideal place of employment, but God has a purpose for all of us on our jobs and we know all things (whether you like your job or not) will work out for your good! (Romans 8:28)
My first full-time, benefits eligible job after I received my bachelor degree was a Secretary position for an executive. Here I was fresh out of college and working in a position that I did prior to going to college. I did not need a degree for the job, but God blessed me with the job. It was provision for my household. It built my faith, character, and skill set. I had some of the same challenges mentioned earlier, but when I look back over my time in this position I can now see how things aligned to place me in the career I am in today. While I was in that secretary position I met two key people who played a major role in opening the door to the career I am in today. As I look back I can testify all things did work out and are continuing to work out for my good. (Romans 8:28)
In the workplace we encounter circumstances that teach us how to deal with people. I have worked for the micromanager, I have worked for and with the hater, and I have worked with people you wish you could snap your fingers and they are no longer there. I’ve dealt with some challenging individuals in my career. In each circumstance I had to learn something new which was how to deal with challenging, difficult, hateful people. These experiences were character building and faith building experiences. It was more beneficial for me to seek God’s guidance in the bad circumstances then it was to allow those individuals to irritate me each day. “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.” (Psalm 91:7) When you feel like the people on the job are there as messengers of Satan they may very well be. You have God’s protective hand over you. “No weapon formed against you shall prosper and every tongue that rises against you will be condemned.” (Isaiah 54:17) There is a purpose for those negative people in your life. There negative tactics will only push you to new heights. “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” (Psalm 110:1) If this is your current situation I encourage you to “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10) “You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.” (Psalm 91:8)
The Blessing of ASSIGNMENT in the Workplace
“Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.” (Genesis 2:19)
God placed Adam in the garden to assign each animal a name. As a Christian God may have placed you on assignment and planted you where you are to be a disciple so that others who do not know Christ can know the name above every name. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Someone at work needs to hear about God and to know who He is and who He can be to them. We are also walking and talking gospels. Are you living by example in the workplace? People watch how we walk and talk when they know we are a Christian. The workplace can be an opportunity to be the disciple God has called you to be. Someone in the workplace needs your witness and your encouragement.
The Blessing of COMPANIONSHIP in the Workplace
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” (Genesis 2:20b) There may be other Christians on the job and you may be placed there to be a workplace spiritual companion for that individual. As a Christian there are days we need encouragement as every day is not a mountain top experience. God always knows what we need and when we need it. When the stresses of the workday arise it is always a blessing and a delight to have a like-minded, like-spirited co-worker as a companion that can relate and give sound counsel and advice. It is a delight to have a work place companion to be able to have Bible Study with or have biblical discussions with. However, Bible study won’t always be limited to Christians. If another soul is hungry for the word feed them.
The Blessing of STEWARDSHIP in the Workplace
So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.” (Genesis 2:20a)
Ultimately your primary goal in the workplace is to get a job done. Genesis 2:15 not only states Adam was placed in the garden to work but he was also placed there to take care of the garden. God desires us to be good stewards over our place of employment. We should manage our jobs as if our supervisor could see our every move. How are you managing your time at work? How are you managing your job duties? How are you managing people you may encounter on a daily basis? Did you provide excellent customer service? Is your response to these questions one that God would check on your performance review below expectations, meets expectations, or exceeds expectations? Sometimes the other job duties as assigned or all job duties are not to our liking but God desires us to be faithful to what He gives us to do. God desires us to be grateful for every blessing. It may be a rough experience and it may be the best job ever, but in all things give thanks. When we are faithful, grateful, and dedicated God can bless us with more. “The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” (Mathew 25:23 NLT) Like Fred the Baker at the end of the day can you go home with confidence in God that you accomplished God’s assignment for you that day? Can you put a smile on your face and say “I made the doughnuts!”?
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” (Martin Luther King, Jr)
Be Blessed and Encouraged!
Heavenly Father, today we praise you for our place of employment. Thank you for the job opportunity. Help us to always look at our employer as a blessing and assignment from you and to be grateful for all that you have given us. Forgive us for the times we grumbled and complained. We thank you for the provision from our job. We thank you for the people on our job. Give us the strength and knowledge to be light in our workplace environment. Lord today we corporately intercede for all unemployed individuals. We pray you will order their steps to an open door for employment. We ask these things in your son Jesus name. Amen
Written by Felicia McKnight
Fred the Baker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjrzuSb00ts