I sometimes amuse myself by thinking about the words we use at work that we don’t really mean or words we use but would never really talk about what they mean, not at work we wouldn’t that is. The greatest example of this is the word “love”. We all the time will say, “I love doing…”, or “I would love to take that project on”, or “I’d love to get together and go over that with you”, or we ask in an interview, “what do you really love to do?”. But if we ever stopped to define what those loves mean or really talk about what love is and what we truly love or not, we would likely pull up short and think better about talking about this at work. Love is not a usual work topic. This is the usual time of the year when many of us take inventory of the past year and begin to set goals and objectives for the coming year. This can coincide with business planning so it seems natural to set our own professional goals and might as well set our own personal goals while we are at it. Most of us start those lists with what we want to get done throughout the year and those goals may cross the areas of physical, spiritual, relational, financial and vocation. There are always many things that we want to accomplish and achieve within the next 12 months. Not often though do we sit down and take the time to catalogue what it is that we love and how we are aligning our time, efforts, and resources against that list. Maybe this year would be a good year to think differently (thank you for that tag line Apple). If we were to start with what it is that we truly love and then build our personal and professional goals from there, then the list might be different this year and it might even be eye-opening or life-changing. We are told in I John 2:15 that we are to “stop loving the evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show you do not have the love of the Father in you”. What does this mean for us as believers who are trying to bring purpose to our work and lives? What this means is that we are to take a hard look at ourselves and determine what it is that we are truly putting our love towards and if it is towards worldly ways that undermine who it is that we can ultimately be for Christ, that we need to re-prioritize and do so quickly. This is relevant in our work and the examples we are in the workplace. If we are chasing that next promotion and raise and doing so at all costs to ourselves, our families and our co-workers, it is a pretty good bet that money and power would be high up, if not on the top of, our “I love…” list. These are hard things to reconcile but God calls us to be constantly checking ourselves and making adjustments. To be the person He wants us to be at work would not to be known as the person who is blindly chasing money, power, or even the next job. The right life example would be one where others could see that there is a larger context and purpose that we chase and fix our eyes upon and how we work is influenced by that choice. As we look to a new year, now would be the best of times to take a love inventory before we set our next year’s goals and objectives.
Reference: I John 2:15 (New Living Testament)