North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Labor Day Edition

    A woman was talking to her friend about her recent job loss: “Why did you leave your last job?”, she was asked. “It was something my boss said,” she responded. “What did he say?” “You’re fired!” Labor Day is a good time to consider the healthy and not-so healthy attitudes we have in approaching our jobs. Most working adults and young people spend a big portion of their week on the job. So, not very long ago, wellness experts added a seventh dimension to the Wellness Continuum. It’s called Occupational Wellness. People with occupational wellness face demands on the job, but they also have some say over demands that are placed on them. Any job has routine demands, but occupational wellness means that routine demands are mixed with new, unpredictable challenges that keep a job exciting. Occupationally well people are able to maximize their skills, and they have the opportunity to broaden existing skills or gain new ones. Their occupation offers opportunity for advancement and recognition of achievement. Occupational wellness encourages collaboration and interaction among co-workers, which foster a sense of teamwork and support.

   I believe there’s a profound relationship between sports competitions and the problems of life itself. This means we have to call upon that built in power reserve when challenges present themselves. Built inside human beings is a sincere desire to excel. There’s an intrinsic nature in us to compete, if not with others, at least with ourselves. On the job, in our quest to be the best at what we do, some people fall behind when they don’t have to. The solution to this shortfall is to probe deeper into the spirit and find a new enthusiasm for the job that you now have. When your job weighs you down and you find the challenge or boredom to be overwhelming, remember: “Whatever work you do, do it with all your heart. Do it for the Lord and not for men. Remember that you will get your reward from the Lord. He will give you what you should receive. You are working for the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24). Show God a thankful spirit by working hard and with integrity for your employer. Instead of drudging through another day, ask God to open your eyes to opportunities to be salt and light in your work environment.

    If you have a familiar job that seems mundane, try bringing something new and imaginative to your work. This fresh approach will inspire you with unexpected vitality and strength. Ask yourself: Is there a better way or more efficient way to perform my work? Think about it. Seeking out new possibilities breeds excitement and anticipation. The mystery behind a new experience can be just the thing to help you move out of an occupational rut.

    A person who considers their job a dull chore will often lack for satisfaction and interest. But with the right attitude, particularly a positive one, you can find some small reason to take joy from your labor. My Dad shared with me what his father once told him concerning work: “Son, get with a company and stay with them.” He must have listened because my Dad retired from an industrial paper mill after 41 years. He worked his way up the ladder and retired from a very good position. I’m sure he would tell you he had some long days. And days where he would’ve rather been somewhere else. But, his faithful, diligent work helped raise a family of four. And for that he is grateful.

    You may not like your work. Perhaps you moan, groan, and complain about having to go each day. If this is the case, find one that you do like. “I’m stuck,” you say. “There’s nothing else I can do. There’s nothing out there!” Having a job at all in this economy is enough to be thankful for. Joy can be found in gratitude. Be grateful for what you have. Count your blessings even in your unhappy state. Surely, there’s at least one positive in what you perceive to be a negative work environment. Let me share seven (7) suggestions on developing positive attitudes on the job:


Be dependable. This is a key to success on the job. Go to work when youre expected and do the job right.


Respect the rights of those you work with. Be sure to give credit to others for what they do.


Be considerate of others. Understand your attitudes can affect the quality of other people’s work. This promotes teamwork.


Take pride in your work. Whatever you do, know this is a basic satisfaction that can be yours in any job.


Seek out knowledge. The more you have the more potential your work can produce. Learn from fellow workers, read books, use your experience. New-found knowledge can help you grow as a person.


Take enthusiasm with you to the work site. Enthusiasm fuels progress and will make the day more pleasant.


Believe in yourself. One of the greatest truths in life is a man, woman, or child who believes confidently and is full of faith and who will work and study can accomplish tremendous things.

    Talent is important with any job. Knowledge and “know-how” is essential for a job well done. But the key to success is your state of mind. Dress yourself every morning with a positive attitude. “Let your light so shine before men. Then they will see the good things you do and will honor your Father Who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). And tell yourself as you go out the door every day. “This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Learn the principles of putting your life into God’s hands, of being divinely guided, and thinking right while eliminating the negatives. End this week or start the next one by going to church, giving thanks for what you do have, and follow God in all your ways.

     This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at  

Posted by on Sep 2 2012. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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