When you think of finding joy and balance would you ever think of finding it in your workplace? This is sometimes a hard thing for me to be honest. I want to be home doing other things like being with my family, but truth is we need the money and I went to school to do my profession. I do love treating people and making them well but I don’t love the hours. There are women in the bible that found joy and balance in their work and did it very well.
“The word joy is found more than 150 times in the bible” states Rhonda Kelley in Life Lessons From Women in the Bible. She describes joy and happiness as two different things. One is earthly and one is heavenly. Happiness is what we find here while on earth and joy is found when we come to know Jesus through salvation. Rhoda the maid of John Mark’s mother was just that person. She was a servant but worked willingly and with joy. Her mistress was a wealthy widow who held church services in her home, which Rhoda would also have to help with. This was also during a time of persecution for the church. Her story is in Acts 12:12-17.
How would you describe work and service? Do you think they are they same?
- Work: putting forth effort to get the job done; responsibility
- Service: Doing a task for someone else; done because you wanted to, out of love and joy
- Verses describing what the bible says about service
As you can imagine many servants were not happy in their position during this time, many were probably not treated well, but Rhoda was the opposite. She enjoyed her job. As christians we are supposed to find joy in service and work with enthusiasm. Do you enjoy your job? Are you joyful at work? This can be a hard thing if you don’t enjoy what you do or are having a hard time with co-workers/employers.
Lydia is another women in the bible who was a hard worker. She worked as a merchant in Philippi and learned to balance her life successfully. When our priorities are straight God can use us the most and in a great way. Her story can be read in Acts 16:11-15, 40. Lydia learned to put God first in all things, then family, then work.
She helped Paul in his ministry and used her house for meetings. In the following passages we see that if we place God first all things will be added to us and things we thought that were important are really not, Philippians 3:8 and Matthew 6:33. When our priorities are out of order other things in life also get out of order. Our focus gets redirected on everything else other than where it should be and will take us down another trail rather than where God intended. How can those of us as working women keep our priorities straight?
- Make time in our morning routine for quiet time
- Find a ministry that you can contribute to at your church
- Have a date night 1-2 times a month
- Plan a special outing with the kids 1 time a month other than just normal hang out time
- Put the phone/ipad down, disconnect from the internet-be present
- It may mean finding a new job or finding joy in the one you have if changing positions is not an option.
Let’s make time to serve with joy and put forth the effort into our work this coming week. Finding balance and reprioritizing can be challenging and can take time. I would tell you to be easy on yourself and allow this change to come over the next few weeks. You can make immediate changes on some things, but others like jobs may take longer.