If you work in or outside the home, you know all too well the struggles that can come with work. How to overcome those struggles with yourself, other people, and the task at hand can be complicated.
Here are three quick steps for overcoming struggles that are most common in the workplace and how to overcome them with your Bible.
This is not an extensive list, nor is it some super-spiritual attempt to pull you toward passivity by ignoring the struggle. But I hope it provides some real concrete ways to apply God's word to your struggle today.
Step 1: Decide if this is your struggle to overcome
Sounds simple, yet this is profoundly missed in work struggles. Some issues have nothing to do with you. They are in the hands of someone else; and God.
For instance, in Proverbs 21:1, Solomon tells us that, "the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord." God often uses difficult people and circumstances to grow us. If you cannot change someone or something, you must first see how this issue is revealing your own heart.
We too often focus on the pain point of others without seeing what good could possibly come from them—which can be a ton! We don't grow spiritually through bath water. While we might be introduced to spirituality that way (a discussion for another time), we simply must grow through challenges we don't foresee and cannot control.
Overcome these struggles by realizing they are not yours to carry. And go on the offense. Make goals of changing the way things are handled. 2 Chronicles 20:15 reminds us that some battles belong to the Lord.
Step 2: See those areas in which you are contributing to the struggle one by one (write a list)
Many Christians do not view work covenantally. And because we don't, we miss the direct results of our own good and bad stewardship of our work environment.
Remember Paul's comments in 1 Corinthians 4:2, "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." It is required. If those handling the Word of God are "required" to be trustworthy stewards, why would we think the same would not be for us?
Remember, it was not simply their handling of the Word of God that was to be trustworthy; after all, not everyone had 24/7 access to the scrolls. They themselves were to be trustworthy before handling the Word. And so, we have Bibles on our shelf. And like them, our stewardship requirements happen before we ever open it up.
When we don't view our work coventantally, we miss the direct results of our stewardship.—@GaryMoris
Steven McCoy, in the book The Speed of Trust says, “Whether you’re on a sports team, in an office or a member of a family, if you can’t trust one another there’s going to be trouble.”
Recognize your own contributions to your own work struggles so that you can address them one by one through prayer and action. Our issues can stem from an uncommitted attitude toward our own change. We end up like the person James warns us of in James 1:22-24, "For anyone who hears the word but does not carry it out is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror, and after observing himself goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."
Step 3: Understand the stewardship principles around finances
Some financial issues can, in fact, be a legitimate cause of struggling that cannot simply be overcome by prayer alone, but by exerting work and goal setting (more of that to come).
Some things are so inherently built into the design of the universe, to neglect them is to invite the very opposite of what you are seeking. Pouring on gasoline in an attempt to put out a fire is as illogical as looking for further financial provision while stewarding your money foolishly.
Today many Christians have been given bad advice on what classifies as good and bad financial stewardship. Today's reactive pastors of the prosperity gospel have explicitly removed the blessings of obedience in place of faithless "sovereignty" that requires little expectations and encourages wildly unfaithful handling of money.
Our money matters to God. Not because He needs it, but because we need Him.
Bonus Step: Recognize your work matters in furthering the Kingdom of God
As a Christian, you are called to further the kingdom of God. Evangelism is your blood. Evangelism isn’t just standing on a soap box bellowing out the gospel or handing out gospel tracks. To be an Evangelist is to be a bearer of good tidings.
The Gospel of Christ is good tiding, but these good tidings reach beyond the salvation of individuals. If you’re struggling with work, perhaps you’ve bought into the idea that business is secular by nature. You’ve believed you can’t have an impact for God’s Kingdom in history with your work.
Yet to the believer, all things count.