I have never met anyone who did not want to be financially prosperous. Even a person who does not think much about money, still wants the things that money can buy, such as food and clothing. However, I have discovered that there is something greater than the financial reward gained from your occupation, and that is what happens inside of your own heart as you faithfully do your work.
I once heard Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, speaking to a group of young people. He told them that if his job at Chick-fil-A was cleaning the bathrooms, that those would be the cleanest bathrooms that could be found anywhere in town. He said that if you work hard, even when your job is only cleaning bathrooms, it will not be long before you will advance in whatever you do.
Mr. Cathy never mentioned money in his entire talk. He was trying to help those young people understand how important it is to have a servant’s heart. He explained that the way to grow in life is by being faithful at whatever task you are given. You see, faithfulness does not happen as a result of financial gain; faithfulness is the result of something that happens in your heart. Although it cannot be developed in a vacuum, it can be developed by being faithful at work.
It is also true, that having a job teaches you self-discipline. Even if you own your own business you still must pay attention to daily financial details as well as customer relations. Being self-disciplined teaches you how to get up in the morning and go to work even when you would rather sleep late. Self-discipline is a character quality that is useful in every area of life.
I remember when I was in military school, I had “forced discipline” before I learned self-discipline. I have said before that I did not like it very much, but I have learned that if I am hard on myself and discipline myself, then I am the winner for having that character trait in my life. Zig Ziglar said it best, “If you are hard on yourself life will be easy on you, but if you are easy on yourself life will be hard on you!”
Delayed gratification is another quality that develops as we work hard. We live in a world that promotes an “instant reward” mentality which often causes us to be impatient for the things we want. Yet, work teaches us that delayed gratification is a wonderful process. Being able to get what you want later because you have said “no” to yourself for the time being, helps you to keep things in a better perspective.
There have been times when I have wanted something with all of my heart but, because gratification was delayed, when it actually came time to get what I wanted, I realized that I did not really want it as much as I originally thought I did.
I could go on and on with the list, and I am sure that you can think of examples, too. The only point I am trying to make is that working hard and smart produces character inside of you better than almost anything else I know.
Why not get a piece of paper and jot down some of the things that have happened inside of your own heart that have come about because you worked hard? Remember, I am not talking about just a job. I am talking about what has happened inside of you as you worked on anything, whether it is a project, a personal goal or anything else. What is important is the personal growth that you developed going through what you experienced day by day.
I have discovered that the process and the value that comes from hard work is priceless. Even if you aren’t getting paid as much as you think you are worth, why not focus on what the work is doing inside of your heart? Who knows? As those character qualities are built into your life, it may not be long before someone notices your quality and ability and pays you more for what you are doing.
This is a simple concept, but it is a difficult one to burn into your heart. Not many people get it. However, it is well worth the effort!
Tip: The greatest reward that you receive from your labor is not what you get FOR it, but what you become BY it!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm
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