Since it is Labor Day week, can I share an insight into your work setting? Every job comes with crappy circumstances and people. No job is without it’s own unique set of problems. However, those problems and people and pressures you deal with at work are not there by accident. They are there to accomplish God’s purpose in your life. And that purpose is character development. God uses the people, problems and pressures of your job to change your character.
I doubt if you have ever faced a challenge as big as this one. This is what was written on an actual accident claim form turned in by a brick layer to the Republic Insurance Company:
“Dear sir, I am a brick layer by trade and on the day of my accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of bricks left over. Rather than carry these 500 pounds of brick down by hand I decided to lower them in a barrel over the side by using a pulley which was attached to the side of the building at the sixth floor. After loading the barrel full of bricks I went down to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure slow decent of the pounds of bricks.
You will note in block 11 of the accident reporting form that I weigh 135 pounds. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel coming down. This explains my fractured skull and broken collar bone.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers on my right hand were two knuckles deep in the pulley. Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind, was able to hold tightly onto the rope in spite of my pain. At approximately the same time however the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.
Devoid of the weight of the bricks the barrel now weighed approximately fifty pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine I began a rapid decent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and lacerations of my legs and lower body.
The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks. Fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I’m sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks in pain and unable to stand watching the empty barrel six stories above me I again lost my presence of mind and I let go of the rope. Thank you, Joe B. Sheraton.”
Did you have anything that traumatic happen to you at work this week? I hope not. The fact is we all have unique problems in our unique jobs. God wants to use those problems in your life to help you build character.
Romans 5:3 reminds us, “When we run into problems and trials they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character and helps us to trust God more and more each time.”
God is far more interested in your character than He is in your comfort. He’s far more interested in perfecting you than He is in pampering you. God’s goal in life is not to make you comfortable. God’s goal in life is to make you grow up. He uses those people, problems and pressures at your workplace to teach you character.
Whenever you have problems at work, you need to ask not “Why? Why is this happening to me?” but “What? What do You want me to learn from this, God? What’s the character problem You want me to work on through this difficulty? What value, what attitude, what action, what responsibility? What character issue is in my life that You have so allowed this problem to work on me?” Because while you’re working on your job, God’s working on you.
The most important thing you bring home from your job is not your paycheck. It is you.