Working a job you love is a wonderful thing. To be sure, all gardens this side of the Fall have thistles and weeds, but doing a job that fits you, that excites you, feels different. It fills you, gives you a sense you’re doing what God meant you to do.
But what do you do when you get stuck in a job you don’t love? When you’re waiting for a better one to come along, feel called to stay in certain work, or aren’t yet qualified for a job you think you might enjoy more? Is it possible to keep getting up day after day and actually have joy in your work?
Scripture promises that we can have joy through any work. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says work is a gift of God, and it is good to “find enjoyment in [it]” — the Hebrew literally reads, “make his soul see the good in [it].” Some jobs will make this joy easy for us; some won’t. But God wills that we make our souls see the good in our work, whatever it may be. We may never become heel-clicking happy about our job, but it is possible for us to have robust joy in it.
Here are five ways to cultivate joy in less-than-ideal jobs:
1. Repent of “ideal jobolatry.”
It’s a gift to be doing work you truly love. But if we dream about our ideal job and start saying, “I will be truly happy when I’m doing ______,” we elevate work to a functional savior and give it the place in our hearts reserved only for Christ.
No job will make you happy in and of itself. Ecclesiastes, an ever-reliable bucket of ice water to the face, tells us, “What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. . . . This also is vanity” (2:22-3). Watch yourself for the beginnings of “ideal jobolatry” and turn from them, reminding yourself that joy depends entirely and only on Jesus Christ.
[Read the rest of the article at The Gospel Coalition.]