Ed made only $4.25 an hour and he wasn't too happy about
that. When the foreman asked him to dig the mud out of a form for
a driveway, Ed dug without enthusiasm. Later, when the foreman
observed Ed's half-hearted efforts, he said, "I'm going to need
you to push that shovel a little faster." Ed replied, "For $4.25
an hour, this is as fast as I push." "Then come to the office,"
the foreman said. "We'll get your final paycheck."
Proverbs 18:9 declares, "He who is slack in his work is a
brother to him who destroys." If we don't obey God's command to
work with all our hearts, perhaps our motivation has been stolen.
Motivation is not stolen by adverse circumstances, but by wrong
thinking about those circumstances.
Wrong Thoughts: The Thieves of Motivation
1) I don't receive enough salary. I don't get paid what I
deserve, so I guess I work down to the level of my compensation. I
don't mean to complain, but my company gets what they pay for.
2) I don't receive the recognition I deserve from my superiors.
It's hard not to feel bitter. It's discouraging to give it all
I've got and never get a pat on the back or a word of thanks, much
less a bonus or a promotion. I don't want to work half-heartedly,
but when even my best work is not appreciated, what's the use?
3) My work is secular. If I were involved in ministry, I'd be
motivated, but it's hard to get excited about work with no eternal
4) My boss is a *%!&@*#. If I work hard, it will make my boss
look good, and frankly I don't want him to look good. I've talked
to my co-workers. Believe me, I'm not the only one who feels this
God's solution, revealed in the following passage, destroys
these thieves of motivation and transforms our work lives. It
makes us more alive and brings joy to our daily tasks.
Col. 3:22-25 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your
earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but in
singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work
with all of your heart, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing
that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your
It would be hard to imagine circumstances much more adverse
than those faced by these slaves, yet Paul is instructing them to
please God by working with all of their hearts.
Those who think they can't be motivated unless they are paid
more should consider that these slaves didn't get paid at all.
To those demotivated by dislike for their boss or by not
getting enough recognition, Paul says, "You're working for the
wrong boss! Don't work as unto men! Work as a Godpleaser. It is
from the Lord that you will receive your reward!" Looking to a
different Rewarder brings contentment, inspiration, and diligence.
Lastly, those demotivated by the thought that their work is
secular should take note that Paul is not writing to ministers;
he's writing to slaves. He reveals a vitally important principle:
No work is secular if it's done for the glory of God.
We can please God and earn eternal reward--whatever the task!
Ephesians 6:5 says to work "with fear and trembling,...as to
Christ." If we simply see the truth about our awesome opportunity
each day in our work--to serve the living God and to earn eternal
reward--it would cause us to tremble!