At the office, you work hard, but somehow your efforts seem to go unnoticed and unappreciated. Worse, a colleague whom you know who has bad conduct and doesn’t put in the same hours or effort seem to get all the praise and accolades.
Are you in that situation? Well, I was for many years. There I was, putting in 7-10 hour days working hard in my quiet little corner while one of my colleagues, whom I know was literally MIA in the office, was getting praises for her work.
The situation was particularly difficult for me to deal with because that colleague had hurt me and badmouthed me to the bosses before.
The whole thing grated on my soul and I complained to God bitterly about it. I didn’t understand why God would bless (or so I thought) a person who behaved in such a manner, and I most of all didn’t understand why God would bless her especially after she behaved so badly towards me. God, I whined, don’t you see the injustice in this?
I had two choices then:
- I could show my displeasure by slacking off at work, “punishing” my bosses so to speak.
- Or I could obey God’s Word which says:
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men … – Colossians 3:23
God also said to me:
Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. — Galatians 6:4-5
So, I stopped whining (though I slipped at times) and proceeded to work hard as if I was serving God. I focused on my conduct, rather than on that colleague’s conduct.
For a time, I didn’t see any rewards. My colleague continued to get praises while I seethed quietly to myself. But over time, I saw the fruits of my obedience.
First, my bosses gave me a good bonus. They began praising my work more and more.
However, my colleague went unpunished. Although I was puzzled by my bosses’ inaction, I chose not to dwell on it (though I failed at times). At times, I still wondered about God’s “slowness” to act.
Recently, my boss gave me a very good appraisal, and said that she would promote me. She even thanked me “for being a good worker”.
Basically, eventually, my obedience to God’s Word was rewarded.
As for that colleague? Word has it that she was given a bad appraisal.
But do I rejoice in her misfortune? Not really, though I must confess that I felt extremely validated by the news. I rejoiced, however, because I chose to obey God, and God rewarded me for it.
To quote the pastor who preached at my church today: “When men forgets, God remembers.”
So if you’re facing a tough situation at work today, I just want to encourage you to think of Col 3:23 – work as if you’re working for God. And whatever your problem, do not focus on the conduct of others but be more concerned about your conduct.
After all, ultimately, our Boss is God himself. And pleasing the Lord is always a pleasure!