“All toil and all skill in a man’s work come from his envy of his neighbor.” Ecclesiastes 4:4.
I don’t really think that is true. For some people. But for a lot of my career and a lot of the careers of others I have seen, a little bit of envy of “something” can go a long way as a motivation factor. Of course, as Jesus has taught us, our neighbor is everyone. So there is a lot of opportunity to look at someone else and find something about that person we might desire. Money has not really driven me, but show me a good title, and I just might be all about some role envy.
A simpler way to look at this is to ask, “What motivates me in my work?” I think it is a really important question because our motivations drive our behaviors. I think if we really ask ourselves this question, we might be surprised at the answers. Is it money? Or being a great politician? Or power? Or being an inspiring teacher? Or some other motivation? And what do those motivations lead to in my daily interactions? Am I little sharp tongued, or too aggressive, or a tad bit dishonest, or completely trustworthy or willing to help others?
Now that I have led you down this path, let me ask this: How is it as Christians we can even ponder that question: what motivates me in my work? We are either motivated by Christ or we are not. He’s either at the center of all we do, or he’s not. Is it even remotely possible that we can separate our work motivation from anything other than following our Savior?
All toil and all skill in a Christian’s work come from surrendering to Jesus Christ as Lord of all.
Seriously, in all that we do as Christians, we do under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Including work.