So how can we avoid letting work dominate our lives? The answer lies in our expectations and our attitude towards it.
If we look at work as our primary source of fulfilment in life, then we will likely squeeze out all other interests in life—including our personal life, family, friends, church, and community interests—into the background. Work will become our god.
Solomon, the wise king and philosopher, famously said:
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
But Solomon also wrote:
What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil – this is the gift of God.
Many of us get bogged down in the moment-by-moment activities of life, which can lead to frustration. But if we are able to put our trust in God’s sovereign control and live responsibly, we will find satisfaction.
Solomon was not suggesting that we take a pessimistic view of life or resigned ourselves to it passively. Rather, he was urging us to recognise that satisfaction with our work is a “gift of God”.
Even though life is far from perfect, we can trust that God is active in our work, and that He will give us satisfaction in the little things of life.