"Problems@Work" - Weekly Workplace Wisdom

05/08/2012 .
Helen Mitchell

Author:  Helen Mitchell

“…Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.  It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.”         Genesis 3:17-18 (NIV)


In the Garden of Eden, when sin was first introduced into the world, so were problems and challenges at work.


Here in Genesis, God is telling Adam that his job is to work the land.  God makes a point to say that it is through painful toil that he will earn a living.  The thorns and thistles he will face are roadblocks to achieving his goal of plowing the land and harvesting the plants of the field.


While we don’t share much with Adam in the areas of farming and tending flock, we do share with Adam the expectation that we will face trials and obstacles at work. 


I too often hear false hope such as, ‘when we hire another person…’ or ‘when business slows down a bit we can catch our breath…’ or ‘now that we got over that, we will be fine.’ 


Not only did God tell us to expect challenges and obstacles at work, but through normal business growth and industry and market changes, there will be new challenges and opportunities.  A certain amount of challenges are normal and to be expected.


Admittedly some business problems are because of choices we make or because of choices someone else makes and yet other problems are totally out of our control, like a sudden change in the economy.  A wise person knows the difference.


Challenges and problems at work make us more Christ like.  Challenges and problems may lead to opportunities to show the love of Jesus or to demonstrate humility when we have been wrong in our words, actions or deeds.  And many times, some of the greatest ideas and work solutions are found through trials and crisis. 


“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.”  Psalm 62:5


Until next week…


Discussion Questions:

1.    What problem at work is challenging you right now?  How would Jesus balance the need to address the problem and preserve relationships? 

2.    Jesus said, “No greater love than a man lay down his life for his friend.”  Ask God to show you who you can lay down your life for, i.e. press pause on your work, in order to help a co-worker.

3.    What can you do to serve your employer this week to help them with the problems the organization may be facing?