Ask Fred > Career/Work > How can I "perform" at work for the RIGHT reasons?

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Dear Fred

How can I "perform" at work for the RIGHT reasons and not keep getting caught up in my old legalistic tendancies?

Fred's Response

Sorry that it has taken me so much time to answer your question. You ask a very good one. It is sometimes hard to bring together the sacred and the secular, isn't it? I can certainly understand the tension between legalism and grace. I grew up in a time where movies were forbidden and swimming was known as "mixed bathing" and of course, strictly off limits! I have found in my life that legalism gives structure to people who can't be comfortable with the freedom of grace. But grace never relieves us of our responsibilities, whether at home, in church or at work. In fact, grace frees us up to go beyond the expected. At work, an attitude of grace should be demonstrated by the fact that we acknowledge that our work isn't for men but for the Lord. We serve a much higher employer. We should be seen as an employee with the highest ethical standards, the strongest work habits and the greatest commitment to excellence. Obviously, I am not advocating any business requirements that are immoral or illegal. When Jesus was asked about paying taxes he responded with, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's." By its nature, the business environment is a competitive system and doesn't foster grace. Grace should not be an excuse for inadequate performance at work. I want you to know that a gracious heart will be demonstrated in good interpersonal relationships that will probably result in good performance. It is your heart's motive that will enable you to live a life of grace at work. Undoubtedly Christians are torn when confronted with a constant striving to succeed in things that are not permanent, but we owe our very best to our employer. This may be the greatest witness you can ever have. You definitely don't have to be "chasing after the wind" as Solomon says, but you can enjoy a job well done. God will show you the limits and will throw up red flags when you are "buying into the performance mentality." You work as unto Him and let Him guard your heart and mind. Thank you for asking. I hope that you find this helpful.