At Work

The Wisdom of Ecclesiastes: Choose to Find Satisfaction in Your Work

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Solomon, David’s son and the third king of Israel, was known for being richer and wiser than any other king in history. The story of how he came to be so wise is repeated in every generation.

Solomon had a dream in which the Lord appeared to him and asked, “What would you like me to give you?”

Solomon said, “Give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil.”

In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon takes time to write out his advice for the next generation. In the third chapter, he writes a vision of a simple, yet remarkably meaningful life:

A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:13)

Not “be satisfied” in their work, but “find satisfaction.”

There’s a difference in the two. The first is a condition. A feeling, an emotion. Something we cannot control. But the second is a choice.

Find satisfaction.

Choose it.

Enjoy your work.

That doesn’t mean every day is easy.

That doesn’t mean every hour is fun.

Work is hard, challenging, and sometimes frustrating. You’re not always going to like everything you do. It’s not always going to feel satisfying.

But you can always choose to find satisfaction in the middle of it. Maybe it’s in the people you get to work with. Or maybe the customers you serve. Maybe it’s the lifestyle it affords you or the provision it gives your family.

For a myriad of reasons and regardless of circumstance or wealth, you can choose to find satisfaction in your job – it is a gift from the hand of God.

Never, in peace or war, commit the virtue of your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment “as to the Lord.”

– C. S. Lewis

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  • Thanks for the simple yet pointed teaching on this aspect of our labor here.

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