Sometimes we can struggle to find joy in our work. God wants you to find joy in everything he has called you to do, that includes your job. Satan wants to steal your joy. He loves placing distractions in your life that rob you of true joy, especially at work.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Let’s take a quick look at five ways Satan can steal your joy at work:
1. Tough Tasks: Difficult projects can drain you fast. They can also be some of the best growth experiences you will ever have. If you step back and take a long-view approach, you can begin to see all the ways God can use that project to help you grow and provide you opportunities to serve others. Rediscover your joy: Ask God to give you wisdom and strength to execute your role in this task with excellence. Ask God to provide you with patience and strength to bear the difficult nature of this task.
2. Gossip: Negative talk and deceptive political maneuvering in the workforce can easily steal your joy. Participating in gossip is selfish and destructive. The Bible is clear that we must avoid any type of slander or gossip. James 4:11 says, “Do not speak against one another, brethren He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.” Rediscover your joy: Respectfully refuse to participate in conversations that involve gossip. Ask God for wisdom on how you can be a positive influence to the gossiper.
3.Difficult Criticism: Imagine you’ve just received some overly critical coaching from your boss that you weren’t expecting. It is easy in these situations to personalize the feedback and become unhappy. Avoid the temptation to judge your critic. That is exactly what Satan wants you to do. Rediscover your joy: Do not react in the heat of the moment. Proverbs 15:1 tells us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” If your critic asks for your feedback, ask if you can have a little time to process what was shared and get back with him/her. Spend that time in prayer and reflection over what was shared.
4. Poor Leadership: You’re not sure if you can work another day with the leadership at your company. You don’t believe they are making good decisions. You don’t feel like they are listening to you and your peers. You may even doubt their competency in their role. I listened to a great Michael Hyatt podcast recently where Michael talked about how he has learned more from his bad leaders than his good leaders. Rediscover your joy: Remain respectful of the authority God has given your bad leader. Recognize this as a temporary season in your work, learn from their mistakes, and apply those learnings to your own growth as a leader. Seek God’s direction on what he has called you to do in your role in this situation.
5. Low team morale: Many things can lead to a decrease in a team’s morale. Sometimes low morale can be seasonal like a dip in the stock price or missed sales goals. Other times it can be more cultural, linked to poor leadership and cancerous gossip. Either way, it can be tough to find joy in your work when the team is collectively unhappy. Rediscover your joy: I love to meditate on Psalms 46:1 when my personal morale is strained: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Ask God to be your shelter during this difficult season.
Here are some suggestions on next steps you can take to rediscover your joy at work.
Right now: Pray that God will reveal to you what is stealing your joy at work. Ask him to provide you strength and wisdom to rediscover your joy in the calling and platform he has given you.
This week: Seek counsel from a mentor and develop a plan to rediscover your joy. Begin executing those first steps.
This doesn’t apply to me: Congratulations! You have harnessed the power of finding and maintaining joy in your work. There may be some around you struggling with this. Ask God to bring someone to you that you can mentor and encourage as they seek out joy in their work.