There is a fundamental misconception about ‘work’ that is different from how people should view it in the real sense of it. The dictionary meaning of ‘work’ that readily captures the attention of people in the world today is “what a person does as an occupation, especially in order to earn money; or simply put, employment”. This meaning gave birth to a general saying within our parlance which goes thus “no work, no pay”- a phrase that is ascribed to a situation when workers go on strike and the management refuses to pay their salaries. But what I intend to establish with this article is to point out the true principle that should guide how and why people should work. What should motivate a person to work; should it be because of remunerations or self-gratifications or should people work to meet the needs of others? Why do organizations employ people to work? Is it to just give away money at the end of the months or do they employ people to meet certain needs?
In the beginning, as established in the scriptures; the bible recorded that God worked for a certain number of days and then He rested from His work (Genesis 1:1-31). Also, God made man in His own image and created everything that man would require for his survival. So, it then means that while God was working in the beginning, His aim for doingit was to meet the needs of man.
Adam, being the first man to be created in God’s image didn’t do anything at creation. The bible only recorded in Genesis that all he did was to christen everything God had created (Genesis 2:20). Man in the Garden of Eden in those days had everything he needed in excess. Food of all kinds, water and even shelter. Adam didn’t have to toil to get anything, because God had worked for him. The bible didn’t record that there was some kind of remuneration God received at the end of His work for man. So, it then means that ‘work’ should not totally be seen as a means of receiving salaries or remunerations, but rather; work should be seen as an avenue of creating services that would benefit others.
But the point is this - why did God have to make everything available for man before He created him? I think there is a principle that He is trying to teach us from this simple example. The principle is that our work or whatever we do should simply be in serving others then after this, remuneration can then follow. But what we have in today’s world view about work is “remuneration first before work” and this is the singular reason why some people (a whole lot of them) are not finding fulfillment in their work place. People get disgruntled, angry and even refused to work the moment their salaries or wages aren’t forthcoming. I am not advocating that men and women should work for free - No! However, I am saying that people should be selfless, giving their best and be others-oriented when they work and shouldn’t be about themselves all the time. Even God had to work for man at some point or the other - who can ever pay God the remunerations due Him? Can we estimate what every human being on earth owes God for the things He has done for us? Self-for-others is the only principle that should guide our work - whatever work we do.
When you live for yourself alone and not consider others in your daily living, such a person will self-destruct. When you are ready to discover your true self as a person, simply live for others. Self-for-others is the true self. All the principles of God are hinged on self for others. Even the Deity (God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) in their routine practices this principle. At a point, the Father was pointing to the son, and at some point, the son was pointing to the Holy Spirit. Even the Holy Spirit isn’t at any point talking about Himself, but rather; revealing the father and the son to us. This is the principle of work, and it is the principle of self-for-others too. It is in having a spirit of working to meet someone’s need that we find true happiness and fulfillment in life, and not in the remunerations we would receive at the end of the day. God, after He had worked for man, looked at everything He had created for man’s purpose and concluded that “it was good” (Genesis 1:31). When you do your work, and people cannot behold any goodness from it or get satisfaction from it, then it is not good enough.
So, what should our attitude be to work? The answer should simply be as simple as working for others and not necessarily because of our remunerations. When people are satisfied with the level of work you do for them, they would appreciate you for it - even much more than what your office or your organization would pay you as wages. Also, let the love of God guide you while you do your work. Be faithful to your organization and your client; do not seek unnecessary gratification where you cannot find them. Your remunerations cannot give you the satisfaction you desire, but meeting someone’s need somewhere through your work is the only fulfillment that can give you the desire gratification you would love.