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Why We Do What We Do

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

Ever ask yourself why you do what you do? There have been times when I have needed to remind myself why I do what I do.

Not everyone wakes up in the morning excited about going to work. Work is hard just as God said it would be (Gen. 3:19). But when there is a purpose in our work that is greater than us, we can find renewed energy and passion for our work.

Few children are thrilled to be assigned work; at least for very long. I remember how much I wanted to mow the grass until I was old enough for it to become my job. Our children were not paid for doing typical chores. Chores are part of the everyday things we all do. Mark and Lauren's main responsibility was to excel in school.

So, rather than give them weekly allowances when they were young, I decided to reward them according to their grades on each report card. Each grade ("A," "B," or "C") had a dollar value. They could determine their allowance by how well they studied. They had been told their hard work in school would pay off in time, but now, in addition to their parent's applause, they would begin to see tangible rewards right away.

One day my elementary-age son was frustrated at the chores he was assigned. I told him I understood and that when I was a kid, I was the same way. Then I explained why he was given jobs to do around the house. I said something like,

"Son, when you were just a baby, you couldn't take care of yourself or help your mom and dad. So, we did everything for you because we love you. Now you are no longer a helpless little baby, and because we love you and you are our little buddy, we want to prepare you to be a man by sharing chores with you. You'll be a big help to mom and dad and one day you'll be a man teaching your children how to help."

He got it. He already knew he was loved unconditionally. He liked high expectations and the cheers he got from us. And he was proud to be old enough to be trusted with responsibilities.

And just like his mom and dad, he was not always happy about the work that needed to be done but he still did his best to keep a good attitude. We took the same approach with his sister. God blessed our efforts and if you know Mark, Jr. (Chip) and Lauren today, you can tell why we are so proud of them. They both have great attitudes and do a great job where they work.

Our children found fulfillment knowing they were loved and could make a difference. Now, as adults, they still work hard to do their best and make a difference.

This ability to work and have a sense of accomplishment is a blessing from God Who made us in His image. As the Creator, He looked back on what He had done and the Bible says He "Saw all that He had made, and it was very good" (Gen. 1:31a). We can have similar satisfaction when we can look back and know what we did was good.

So, we are rewarded with satisfaction when we have done our best and completed a task. But did you know there should be an even greater motivation to do what we do?

Let's think of children again. What would be the most meaningful for a child?

• Be recognized by their teacher and classmates for a job well done?

• Win an award for doing a great job on their science fair project?

• Be paid for finishing a job?

• Or seeing their parents' big smiles as they tell them how proud they are of them?

Depending on the age of the child, any of these would be meaningful, but I believe that seeing the joy on their parent's faces and overhearing dad and mom tell others how proud they are of them would be the most fulfilling.

I think many adults still long for the approval and blessing of their parents. And while we appreciate money, recognition, awards, and even the deep personal satisfaction of a job well done, nothing can compare with having the "smile" of God upon our lives. We all should seek God's approval of our lives.

The greatest joy in my life is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ. I have made it my goal in life to please Him (2 Cor. 5:9). I please Him the most when I love Him the most (Jn. 14:15). Sadly, I don't always love Him as I should, so I don't always please Him.

Oh, but the joy I have when I know I am obeying and pleasing Him! Thankfully, His love is unconditional and His salvation is purely by His grace.

When we become Christ-followers, Christ becomes the passion and pursuit of our lives. Knowing Him is the greatest reward we could possibly receive. The LORD described Himself to Abram and said:

I am your shield, your very great reward (Gen. 15:1).

If doing our best and completing our work with excellence is deeply satisfying, then how much more satisfying it must be when we complete our work with excellence for Him?

How much wiser it is to seek the applause of heaven rather than the applause of men.

Why do you do what you do?

All for Him,

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