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Why Do You Work?

Why do you work? If you work because you need a paycheck, or because you want to make tons of money, I understand.

And maybe you also work because you’ve set goals. You have said, “I want to achieve something great. At my job, greatness comes with a raise or a promotion, so that’s my goal.” You work hard for your goals. I really do understand that.

Suppose I say to someone, “You have to work hard if you want to become the president of your company.” And they say, “Yeah, I want to do that.”

Then I would ask, “Okay, why?’

“Well,” they might say, “because that’s my goal. I want to be president of the company.”

“Well, why?” I ask. “Why do you want to be the president of the company? Why do you want to earn millions of dollars a year? Why do you want to be the big boss? Why do you want to be rich? What is it for?” You see, making money and reaching goals don’t make sense all by themselves. I mean, what’s the point of it all? You need fulfillment, too.

Working and spending gets boring after awhile. You start to yearn for something more.

One reason we work hard is to be able to buy things. You might want to work hard and be a top earner so you can buy cars and boats and houses, or fly all over the world and enjoy some of life’s luxuries. Is that why you want to work hard and achieve success? If it is, I understand. I really do.

But the thing is, you can only do that so much. There are only so many boats or cars or houses you can buy before it gets boring. When I started my career, I lived in an apartment, and now I live in a beautiful home. I find they both achieve the same thing. I sit on the couch and watch TV, and I go in the kitchen and cook food. It’s just a place to live. Although I’m very thankful, it’s not like I wake up every morning in awe. It eventually becomes normal. So to me, if that’s all I achieve, well, that’s really shallow. It’s just a boring way to live.

I understand working hard because you want to have a nice house for your family, and because you want to provide safety and comfort. But I also recommend working in order to feel fulfillment. I work hard to provide for my family, to achieve to my highest ability, and because it gives me the ability to help out someone else. All three outcomes feel really good.

More on this next time. See you Saturday.

4 thoughts on “Why Do You Work?

  1. Great insight Jeremy. I’m reminded of Ecclesiastes. In Solomon we find the ultimate example of a man who did it all, pursued it all, achieved it all, and strikingly found it all — to be “chasing after the wind.”

    I’m so grateful to live in this country but I often feel like the “American Dream” can lead us into a very shallow, materialistic existence if we’re not careful. There’s honor in working hard, being successful, and doing everything as unto the Lord, but at the end of the day we have to be cautious we don’t delude ourselves into believing that “more” is always better.

    Anyway, I just recently found your blog and heard a bit of your testimony, and I can’t tell you how encouraged I was. Keep bringin it man and congrats to you and the Giants on an incredible season. God Bless!


  2. I really like that you asked this question. I myself have left a job to become a missionary and I have had the question asked of why I left. I didn’t have an amazing job, actually I was having a lot of health issues because of stress from my job so my decision to leave was a no brainer to me but I have gotten a lot of negative response to it. Yes, I do have to live with my parents, and yes I have to watch every single dollar that I spend, but I knew that taking this leap of faith was going to be hard. Having a job does not defy me, a job is not always guaranteed, but I know who is, and I will rely on Him fully.

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