Home > Christianity, Faith > Does Your Work Define You?

Does Your Work Define You?

My first “job” was when I was ten years old.  My grandpa was retired.  He worked part-time for a local pharmacy delivering hospital beds to folks who rented them.  He had a tough assignment, so I was “hired” to help him out.  He gave me a dollar and the pharmacy gave me five.  I thought I was rich.

A little later I took my savings and bought six Holstein bulls.  Soon they became steers and I bottle fed them until they were old enough to turn out to wean.  They grazed for a while until it was time to sell them at market.

My next job was hauling hay and working in tobacco farms for local farmers.  It was tough work, but it gave me a little money.

I mowed a few lawns here and there until I turned sixteen.  Soon after, I got a job at Food City as a bag boy.  This was probably the job where I had the most fun of my life.

My next two jobs were interesting.  Working for a car dealership washing and detailing cars.  From there I worked in a saw mill stacking lumber.  Physically, this was the hardest job I’ve ever worked.  I didn’t need to work out that summer.  Every day was an eight-hour workout session.

During my last two years of college I worked at a bank.  I went in about 5 pm and worked until I was finished.

After college I worked for another bank in their bookkeeping department.  After a couple of years, I moved on to another bank where I worked in the loan department for three years.  This is the only job I’ve ever had that truly ended badly.  I wasn’t fired, but I was pushed to leave.

I began working for my current employer eighteen years ago.  I worked there for  five years before leaving to go to seminary.  While in seminary I worked three jobs which included UPS, a paper route and a running store.This was probably the toughest year of my life.

After leaving seminary, my employer hired me back twelve years ago.  I’ve had the good fortune to be promoted a few times.  I have a pretty good job and career now.


There you have it.  My resume’.  You have a picture of what I’ve done for the past thirty-six years.  Do you know what you don’t have a picture of?

Who I am.

I’m not truly defined by what I’ve done during my life.  Paul, when reviewing his resume’, called it rubbish.  It didn’t buy him anything with God.  It didn’t get him anywhere.

The most important thing that matters in all of these jobs are the relationships that I have made.  The impact I’ve had on someone’s life.  The influence that I have had in the Lord’s name

Too many of us let our work define us.  Good work.  Sometimes work that can glorify the Lord.  We were made to work in life, but we weren’t made to let that work define us.

Don’t let your work define you.  Work hard.  Do the best you can.  Glorify God with your work ethic.  Build great relationships.

What does your resume’ look like?  Have you ever let your work define you?

Categories: Christianity, Faith Tags: , ,
  1. September 11, 2014 at 5:51 am

    You sure have a checkered past. 🙂 Seriously, it is good to hear more about you and to see what was instilled in you as a young man. Sadly, I am mostly defined by my job. I have no clue what else I would do. The 6 months I was between churches with no church job, I’m not really sure who I was.

  2. robshep
    September 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    As a pastor it is difficult to separate who I am from what I do. When someone leaves the church or criticizes a sermon it feels personal. There are days where I nail this and do not take it personal. Then there are other days where I look like a train wreck after criticism. I still have a ways to go.

    • September 15, 2014 at 4:38 am

      Hang in there, Rob. You’re doing great stuff.

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