Working for the joy of others

A post on 2 CORINTHIANS 1:24

Paul discusses joy as a means of building relationships. “I do not mean to imply that we lord it over your faith; rather we are workers with you for your joy, because you stand firm in the faith” (2 Cor. 1:24). Joy explains why Paul was such an effective leader and why the people associated with him became strong and reliable coworkers. Even though he was an apostle with God-given authority, Paul’s aim was the joy of working together, not the pride of forcing others to do his bidding. We hear an echo of Jesus’ words to his disciples when they were arguing about who among them was the greatest:

The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you; rather the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like one who serves. (Luke 22:25–26)

The essence of Christian work, Paul maintains, is nothing less than working alongside others to help them attain greater joy.

What would our workplaces look like if one of our prime directives were bringing joy? Joy in this sense is not the fleeting feeling of happiness but the deep delight of working in accordance with God’s design. What is to stop you from making it your goal to strive for a deep sense of mutual satisfaction in your dealings with coworkers and clients?

From Theology of Work Project. Image: Jennifer Woodruff Tait.

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