With a background in growing up in an education and ministry family and choosing to be in ministry and school counseling, I had never had an opportunity to see efforts being rewarded with higher pay or bonuses. It was more an intrinsic reward. I got paid for my work, but for most helping professions, the pay is not the reason you enter the profession. I have always been a hard worker no matter the job or title, but the way some businesses are set up, you literally could always have another challenge available.
Imagine the weirdness of being in a field where there is a new carrot for your effort around every corner. At first, that is exhilarating (or overwhelming–depending on your personality). Make this goal, win this bonus or prize and increase your paycheck. Then, there’s a newer and better one. These incentives are built around human nature and the hunger for more and better. Again, there’s the wrestling inside….”is it wrong to keep making goals? Is it wrong to not participate? what if I get left behind? is my worth in my title? how does this affect my family?”
Notice that I have been asking a lot of questions. See, as a follower of Jesus, I have the Spirit of God inside of me and the mind of Christ–the Bible tells me so. God’s word also instructs that my heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, that the LOVE of money is the root of evil, and that my heart is an idol factory that will easily serve something (and myself) before the God of the Universes. The created becomes what we seek rather than the Creator, and that gets us all out of whack and creates more problems.
I have found that it is sometimes wrong for me to participate in chasing another carrot. In fact, I have begun praying about chasing any opportunity. I pray, talk it through with my husband to see the benefits and setbacks for our family and then make an informed decision. Just because it’s available it doesn’t mean I sign up. Here are the questions I weigh in that decision:
- To what end/purpose am I doing this? For my glory? For my family? For a need for recognition? to strengthen my business? to simply win/because it’s there/pride? to provide a certain need?
- What will this cost and is that cost worth it? time away from my family? my reserves? margin for relationships? what will the consequences be for my health and the health and well-being of my family? Will I still have margin to pursue the Lord and my family first? Will I MISS people and their needs in the midst?
- What kind of example am I showing my team about balance and boundaries through pursuing this? Am I encouraging others in the midst? Am I pointing people to Christ in the midst?
Is it easier not to question? Shoot yeah! Will it numb our hearts if we don’t? Yes, over time it will. In anything, we need to see why we are doing things. There is always a reason, and we are called to guard our hearts and minds as believers. The enemy would love to render us pointless for the Kingdom simply because we are too busy or too caught up in our next goal. Is having a goal or going for it wrong? No–it just depends on the why. Sometimes we don’t set goals or go for anything because we are afraid. This can look Spiritual but not be. The heart, what a complicated thing!!! Happy QUestioning, and I will be back with more!