Workplace stress! There is plenty of it and no one is exempt from feeling its results. Maybe it is the result of demands that you face daily. Maybe it is the break-neck speed with which you operate day in and day out. (Some of you, reading this from your office, can already feel your heartbeat increasing as a result of just a few minutes on the job simply due to the pace of the activity.) Perhaps it is the fact that the week is nearly over and you have a number of unmet goals. For some, it is the awkwardness and difficulty of workplace relationships that creates stress. How do you manage it all? The world is full of free advice.
One remedy that you’re not likely to find is the one found in God’s Word: “Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing… Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, and bless His name…” (Psa. 100:1-4). What a great passage to consider as you conclude your work week!
Think about it…First, you are not God! (“Know that the Lord is God.”) This sounds simple but so many of the burdens we often carry are really things that are far beyond our control to do anything about. Turn them over to the Lord. He is God. So take a deep breath and let Him do His “job.” Move over and let Him have control.
Next, serve Him with gladness! Choose joy today! I am thinking of two people I have encountered on their jobs this week. One works behind a counter at an auto repair shop. He didn’t even speak to me as he handed me my bill for payment. (I started to just stand there to see if I could get a word out of him!) It was fairly obvious he was not a happy camper in doing his work. But I met a flight attendant on a plane earlier this week and she was genuinely glad to be on the job. You could even understand her when she talked over the plane’s intercom because she talked slowly and with enthusiasm as if she really was excited about the buckling of seat-belts! Joy! Gladness! She had chosen these as two of her workplace trademarks. It didn’t mean that her workplace was free of stress. It simply meant that her response to that stress was an attitude of gladness in service!
Finally, approach your workplace responsibilities with a spirit of thanksgiving and with great praise to the Lord! You will preempt a lot of the day’s stresses if right now you will assume a praise-approach.
The Example of Hannah
Hannah had an incredible job, one of the highest callings of any of us: she was a housewife. Her job was taking care of little Samuel for a few scant years before she turned him over to the Lord (I Samuel 1-3). Her heart of thanksgiving for what the Lord had done for her and her praise of Him for all He is as God can be wonderfully seen in her Song of Thanksgiving (I Sam. 2:1-10). No wonder she was so good at her profession; she approached her daily responsibilities with praise of God because she recognized Him as sovereign over all the daily affairs of all people (vs. 4-8) and because she understood Him to be Supreme Judge who administers perfect justice (v. 10).
Read I Samuel 2:1-10. Follow the example of Hannah as she lived out her workplace calling. If in the course of this day you get stressed out and feel like you have no place to turn, think again! Turn it over to your Lord. Bless His name! Remember, He is God. Praise Him. It will be noticeable to your company’s leaders and those around you that you are driven by something much more powerful than the stress factors that seem to drive everyone else. Let’s make the day count by combining our efforts to represent Christ in a fresh, professional, highly-motivated, incredibly productive, “great-to-be-alive” way in spite of the stresses we face. By looking into His face you can face the day!