"We all work for an audience, whether we are aware of it or not. Some perform to please parents, others to impress peers, other to win over superiors, while many do what they do strictly to live up to their own standards. All of these audiences are inadequate. Working for them alone will lead to overwork or underwork--sometimes a mixture of the two, based on who is watching. But Christians look to an Audience of One, our loving heavenly Father, and that gives us both accountability and joy in our work." - Tim Keller, Every Good Endeavor
There have been periods in my life when I'm working for myself. For the approval of my associates. For the status that I want to achieve so I can "be somebody". But these have all lead to burn out. I end up hating my job, or not doing good work, or working for the money which is the lamest reason of all.
But then I am reminded of these words from Tim Keller, I've read this chapter in his book at least a dozen times. (I keep forgetting and need to re-read it). And my soul is refreshed. I shed the burden of my own expectations like a dreaded weight and I'm free to actually love my job, to excel- to be the best I can be. Not for my own success, but because I want to honor the One who gave me the gifts in the first place.
We all have our reasons for doing what we do. Perhaps, to you, mine are "out dated" or "too religious". We live in a post-modern culture right? Christianity has been discarded a long time ago as passe'. But for me, it makes sense. It's what connects the dots in my work. It gives a reason to prize the beauty of human life and to value long-term relationships. Relationships of love are the foundation for all of reality. When I can capture and celebrate those relationships for the right reasons- then I am truly doing my job well.