We spend so much of our lives in our work-life trying to please people, whether we’re a team member, in leadership or a business owner.
In this episode you’ll learn 5 ways to work to please God, not people.
- We spend the majority of our lives working to try and please people
- Your worth does not come from your boss or a person in your life thinking you’re amazing with what you do at work. You’re worth to the company is what you produce, but your worth ultimately comes from what God thinks of you, and He thinks you’re pretty amazing – He’s crazy in love with you.
- Working to please God does not always mean loving your job.
- God’s plans are greater than ANY plans we have.
- Our stories are not our own, they are God’s.
- Bringing yourself down to the level of those around you will only hold you back, and make you less marketable for your next opportunity.
- What man intends for evil, God intends for good.
Key Action Items:
- Understand that this is God’s story…not ours. [9:18]
- Believe God has a plan for you…regardless of your environment. [14:24]
- Don’t bring yourself down to the level of others. [17:35]
- Focus on how you can bless others around you. [18:53]
- Talk to God. [21:53]
Henri Nouwen: The Return Of The Prodigal Son
Henri Nouwen: Life Of The Beloved
Chris LoCurto: Hello, welcome to the Chris LoCurto show where we discuss leadership and life and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Welcome to the show folks. Hope you are having a fabulous day. Today we’re talking about how to work to please God, not people. Now it doesn’t matter what your role is. This is going to apply to every one of us. Doesn’t matter who you are, so whether you are a team member or you’re in leadership or you’re the business owner.
People don’t give you value
The crazy thing is, is that we spend so much of our lives in our work life trying to please people, almost every single person. As a matter of fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever found a person yet who is not doing their work to please other people. Who’s not getting their worth, and when I say worth, I’m saying other people thinking that other people think they’re amazing or think that they’re valuable because of the work that they’re doing.
Well, I’m going to kind of turn this around and help you to see no matter what role you’re in, you should be doing your work to please God and not people, because ultimately he’s the one that can provide it all. He’s the one who can take it away, right?
If we take a look at how Solomon points this out, listen, go do as much as you want to do, but remember, it’s all in vanity. Just realize it’s all in vanity. At any minute, God can reach down and flick you, and changed the whole process, right? So recognize the blessings that you have, but also recognize that your worth does not come from me thinking that you’re amazing with what you do at work.
Your worth to the company is what you produce. That’s your worth, but you’re worth ultimately comes from what God thinks of you and he thinks you’re pretty amazing. He’s crazy in love with you, so instead of spending the rest of your life trying to please men or please people, spend time working to please God. You have however many hours you have to work in the day. Focus that energy, focus that time, focus what you’re doing on pleasing God.
Even if you hate your job…
Now, I can tell you I have not always loved what I’ve done in life. I’ve not always loved every job that I’ve had. Now. I’ve been working since I was 14 years old and I can tell you that there have been some roles along the way that I absolutely did not like some that I loved, I absolutely loved, but some I did not like. One of those was for many years I worked in the logistics industry. I’m an incredibly logistical thinker.
I’m somebody that things just come naturally to me logistically. It’s very easy for me to figure things out or figure out how to make things work, and so God dropped me in an area where we put that to work where I was running logistics for many states. It was good, but it was not something that I loved doing, but I was very blessed to have the job.
I never looked at the job and thought, you know, God’s not taking care of me or I’m a victim or I don’t belong here. Never thought any of that stuff. Now did I think that I didn’t care for it much? Yeah. There were many times I’d have to get up at 1:00, 2:00 in the morning and work with a cell phone. If you guys remember the ones that were bricks that after about 15 minutes you’re the whole side of your head was on fire because of I’m sure was all the radiation coming out of those phones, and there much better now.
You know, I’d have to get up at 1:00, 2:00 in the morning because we worked with highly volatile products and so I would have to take care of the logistics that were not working out on somebody else’s end. You run into a bad customer or whatever, or you just have somebody who’s trying to handle the problem and it’s not working out the way that they want it to.
And so I’d have to get up and handle the problem and so I didn’t love that. I didn’t enjoy the waking up in the middle of the night. I didn’t enjoy, you know, a lot of people in the, in the logistics industry. Some people are kind of rude in that process, but I was also in youth ministry at the time that I was doing a lot of this logistics and so for me, I knew that I wasn’t supposed to leave.
Why I stayed
I knew that I had this job. I’d been in it for a couple of years at this point and I knew that God had not released me to go onto anything else. People would tell me all the time, Chris, go put a resume out there, go do something. And I knew that God had not released me, that he wanted me to stay exactly where I was and so I, I never made my resume.
Wasn’t even a thought on my mind. And then all of a sudden one day I felt like God said make a resume. So I did. I went to a friend’s house. She was the only one I knew who had a computer at the time. That’s the kind of gives a little bit away of how long ago this was and we worked on it for a couple of hours putting together this resume. Right?
You know, nowadays it doesn’t take much time at all and back then we worked on it and created this thing and she hit the print button and I all of a sudden felt I’m not supposed to send it out and I looked at my friend and I said, I am so sorry that we just put all this effort, but I feel like God is saying that I’m not supposed to send that out.
And she’s like, um okay. Well no problem. And so I went back to work and didn’t think anything of it. Two weeks later I have a conversation with one of the gals in the office, God came up and we’re talking through some things and she said, there is no god. I’m like, well, why don’t you in the world do you say that? And she goes, “Because my son in law killed my grandson, murdered him. There is no God that would allow that.”
And so I immediately looked at her and I said, hey, let’s go, let’s go talk for a while, two hours later, through a ton of tears, she was rededicated her life to God. It was a powerful, powerful moment. It was a powerful conversation, a powerful time. And I walked out and went back to my desk. And the moment I sat down, guys, I’m not kidding you when I say this, literally sat down in that chair and the phone was ringing.
I picked up the phone and it was a guy who worked for me previously and he said, hey, there’s this company who knows who you are. They want to hire you. Do you have a resume? I was just kinda stopped in my tracks and I’m like, you know, I just happened to have when he’s like, well, fax it on over to this number. They want to talk to you. And within just a couple of days, this was like a Tuesday or something like that. I did an interview on Saturday and I was hired.
God’s plans are better than ours
God’s plans are way better than our plans. Let me say that again. God’s plans are way better than our plans. He already knows what’s gonna work best for us, but so many times we try and take control. Why do we try and take control? Very simple. We do not believe that God has our best interest at heart.
If we did, we would not have to take control of things in our life, right? It doesn’t mean that you don’t do stuff. It doesn’t mean that you don’t make things happen, but what I’m really talking about is when we feel like we have to make things happen because God surely not going to do it. He’s not doing anything. Nothing great is coming my way.
Listen, I spent a couple of years staying in a business I did not like I did not enjoy, but knowing that I was not supposed to leave and the moment I had this conversation with somebody who turns her life back to God, God moves me on. So that’s what I’m going to talk about today, is how to work to please God and not people.
Today’s episode is brought to you by Next-Level Life. Do you ever find yourself asking in life is this it? Or find yourself feeling unfulfilled, stuck in the same old stuff, but never moving forward? And it’s not just affecting you, it seeps into your relationships as well. It’s just frustrating, isn’t it? What if you could wake up every morning with a clear purpose? What would it look like to have healthier relationships with less conflict? Where would you be in five years if you had clarity, purpose, and peace? Probably a big difference from where you may be right now. I know it’s possible because I’ve been where you are standing right there asking myself, is this what the rest of my life is going to look like? There is a better way and it starts with next level life. You can go to chrislocurto.com/discover to take the next step. Next level life is a two day personal discovery experience. It’s a one on one personalized event where we guide you through a process to help you get unstuck in life, improve relationships, and discover what’s holding you back from freedom and peace. So if you’re struggling with discontentment, regrets, or not feeling good enough, if you’re filled with anxiety or your relationships are lacking, don’t keep going through the motions every day. Learn how to move past the things robbing you of peace. Go to chrislocurto.com/discover and take the next step for a better future.
5 Ways To Do Your Work As Unto The Lord
Okay, so let’s talk about five ways to make sure that you’re doing your work as unto the Lord. As Colossians 3:23 says, “work willingly at whatever you do as though you were working for the Lord rather than people.”
#1: Understand that this is God’s story…not ours.
Now, the first part of this is to understand that this is God’s story, not ours. We get so caught up in thinking that our life is our story and it seems to make sense. Well of course it is Chris. It’s my life. How could it not be my story? You have to remember something.
He owns us. He created us. He’s the one who sent us into this life, this life that is his story. Or you may realize history. History is his story. It’s about him. He’s the one who sent us into this life. So if you’re not feeling freed up, there may be a greater reason why God has you exactly where you are. Yeah, but I don’t like it.
Okay. I’m not saying that you have to stay there. I’m saying seek him. Find out if he has you there for a reason. Spend more time focusing on him to discover Henry Nouwen and talks about this. I love Henry Nouwen books. He did a phenomenal job. He has so many great books out there. The prodigal returns is just an all time favorite, life of the beloved is a great book. We’ll put the links in here. If you’re on the iPhone, scroll up.
Just scroll this up and you’ll see the links. But this is a powerful, powerful book. Both of those are Henry Nouwen books are great books. We’ll put both of those links in there for you. Life of the beloved is a tough one. It’s a tough one for those of us who have not ever felt like we were beloved.
Now, that may not make sense to you because you may have grown up being very nurtured and loved and feeling like the beloved, but there are a lot of folks on this planet who don’t really understand what that’s like, who don’t understand how to receive that or feel that from the Holy Spirit to feel and receive that from God. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Let me tell you either way. This is a great book to read.
Both of those books are great books. Get them both. Trust me on this, but in life of the beloved, one of the things he talks about is that we are sent into this life. Now we as Christians in ministry, in business. I’ve said this many, many times, I’ve talked about the calling. There’s many different things inside of the Bible talking about being called how we should live our calling and we should be asking the holy spirit to help us with our calling. I love how Henry Nouwen put it.
It’s more than just being called as if we’re the ones who made all this happen. We’re the ones who created ourselves and then praise God. God called us. Nope, we didn’t. We were sent. God specifically sent us into this life and our job is to get back to him. Our job is to make it back to him.
Each of us has a mission in life. Jesus prays to his father for his followers, saying, as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world, John 17:18. We seldom realize, fully, that we are sent to fulfill God given tasks. We act as if we have to choose how, where and with whom to live. We act as if we’re simply plopped down in creation and have to decide how to entertain ourselves until we die, but we were sent into the world by God just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will know what we were sent to do.
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#2: God has a plan for you…regardless of your environment.
Number two, God has a plan for you regardless of your environment, bad work atmosphere, gossip, backstabbing, all of that stuff. People ask me about this all the time. I get emails from folks. Guys, I know it’s very possible that you are in an environment that you hate.
I know what it’s like. I get folks all the time sending me emails saying, Chris, what do I do? How do you handle living in an environment or working in an environment where people just don’t care? All they care about is getting their own. All they care about is stabbing somebody in the back. You have leaders who don’t care about leading their team members to success.
There are only focused on them. In fact, you know they shut people down all the time because of how badly it affects them. If they look like they don’t know what they’re doing. I hear you. I understand. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like, but what you have to understand is that no matter what your environment is, God still has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 in the message says, “I know what I’m doing.
I have it all planned out. Plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Guys you have to understand that serving God is the focus, not serving us, serving God is the focus, not trying to please man. He has a fantastic plan for you. Guess what? It may also involve suffering. It may also involve difficulty. Take a look at Joseph. Take a look at what happens with Joseph.
I think we could all agree that, at 17 years old he was not the most self effacing person on the planet. He knew he was the beloved in that family. He knew that he was the favored and he didn’t have a problem making his brothers feel bad about that. But take a look at what happened. Did he deserve getting sold into slavery? No. Did he deserve being thrown into prison because of somebody else?
Being a Dork? Not at all. So those years that he spent in slavery in prison sucked. He didn’t deserve to be. It was not a great environment. Right? But what do we see? When famine strikes the land and his family comes to him to get help. What does he say? What you meant for evil, God meant for good.
You thought you sold me, but God sent me. So sometimes we struggle thinking, but my environment sucks, so how can this be a calling of God? How can this be where he wants me to be? Look at how bad the environment is. Listen, no matter how bad the environment is, do not hold yourself back because other people are deciding to live in or take part in a crappy environment.
Stay where you are if God has you there, but every single day say, I have got this number of hours to work for God, do you think he doesn’t see your heart? Do you think he’s not going to take care of you? If even in a horrible environment, you focus on him. I know it’s tough. I’ve been there. I get it, but choose every single day. Today I’ve got this number of hours. I’m going to go work as unto the Lord.
#3: Don’t bring yourself down to the level of others
Number three, don’t bring yourself down to the level of others, So listen, don’t be influenced. You will make yourself considerably less marketable for your next role if you keep doing the same thing that people around you are doing.
One of the things we talk about all the time in StratPlan and next level mastermind is helping leaders to really focus on protecting their culture and from an aspect of if you don’t protect your culture, if you don’t show the people that are working for you, that they’re valuable by taking out the person who is being the dork, you know somebody is going against your culture.
If somebody being poisonous, you got to stop it because unfortunately, and it will make sense when I say this, if you don’t get rid of the poison, how does everybody else respond? I would love to say that everybody else just responds with, well, I don’t care what that poisonous guy is doing. I’m going to keep doing my work as unto the Lord, but that’s not what happens.
People see that somebody else is getting away with being a Dork and they go, oh, well, if he’s going to get away with being a Dork, I’m just not going to have integrity either. I’m just going to shut myself down. Don’t be that person. Right? Don’t be influenced by somebody who’s choosing to act like a Dork. They’re dealing with what they’re dealing with. Try to be an influence to them, try to be an influence by having integrity, tried to be an influence by having a Christ-like spirit about you.
Try to influence them by not complaining or gossiping or talking badly about them or thinking that you’re greater than them. Understand that right now they’re going through something and they’re choosing this type of response. You can choose different. Choose to work your butt off for God. Choose to be a good influence to them. Ask the question, how can I make myself even greater in situations where most people don’t care? Do your part. I can promise you this. God will do his.
#4: Focus on how you can bless others around you
Number four, focus on how you can bless others around you. How can you be a witness to those around you? Not only a witness to a better work ethic, but also for Christ. They should be able to see it in your actions, not just by what you tell them. So if you’re going to be, maybe you’re in a good environment, maybe you’re in a bad environment, maybe you’re a Christ follower and people around you aren’t.
What can you do to be a witness to those around you? How can you bless them with love, with care, with concern? St Francis of Assisi said, preach the Gospel at all times when necessary, use words. Help them to see in your life how you live your life, that you’re a Christ follower. Help them to see that you’re the kind of person that they want to come and be blessed by, by spending time talking to you and learning what you believe.
Be somebody that people want to be like, be somebody that people want to know more about because they see something different about you and they are really looking for themselves to be blessed by what you know. I can’t tell you how many times people come into this building, see this culture, see the people in here and go, this is what we want. This is what I want.
I want this. Great. You can have this. We have a business where we’re constantly helping people out of mistakes, solving mistakes, looking at mistakes, and instead of beating the daylights out of them, actually figuring out how do we fix this stuff, right? We spend a lot of time helping people out of junk. It can be personal junk. It could be business junk. We spend a lot of time helping people get better.
We spent a lot of time encouraging, speaking into people’s lives, helping people when they are destitute, helping people when things are going well and they just want it to be better. Focus on how you can bless other people around you. How can you serve them with the gifts and talents that God has given you? One of the big ways to do that is to let them see the authentic you. Hopefully that authentic you is focused on being Christ like.
#5: Talk to God
Number five, talk to God. Prayer is not about how fancy you can be with your words. God is not impressed with $9 words. He’s just not. He wants you to talk to him as children. You are his child. Talk to him like he’s your dad. Jesus called him Abba. When you take a look at the translation from Arabic to English, the closest word is daddy. So if Jesus can call God the father, Daddy, why can’t we see them the same way?
You are his child. You are a co heir with Christ. For those of you that are believers, you’re co heir with Christ, so talk to him. If you are not a believer, talk to God. Try it. Spend some time talking to him. Ask him to reveal himself to you. Ask him if he’s really there and he cares so much about you to show you. Trust me, he will.
He’s crazy about you. He loves you. There’s plenty of evidence around. The issue with evidence is not the lack of it. It’s the suppression of it. So go get more of him. Spend time talking with him. For those of us that are believers, we should be praying without ceasing. What does that mean? You should be talking to your father in heaven all day long, everyday. It doesn’t matter what the decision is about.
It doesn’t matter what the subject’s about. He cares. He wants to know about your every day, your every situation. Yes. He wants to talk to you about making sure that you take care of your house, your car. He wants to make sure that you’re taking care of your health. He wants to talk to you. He wants to have conversations just like any great father would want to have with their kids.
He wants to give you advice. He’s going to give you correction. I can promise you that. Choices and consequences, baby. Trust me, it’s coming. So why don’t you seek the wisdom on the front side and maybe you don’t have to deal with the consequences on the backside. Ask God to bring to fruition whatever it is that he is wanting to do with you. Ask him what you’re supposed to do. Ask him how to be a better version of you with what you’re doing. Ask Him for direction, guidance, and even ask him to bless you.
Ask them how you can be a blessing to others. Ask him for the ability for you to speak into people’s lives or for you to be a great witness. Ask Him, ask, ask, ask, talk to him. Don’t stop talking to him and don’t stop talking to him because you’re not happy with where you’re working and don’t stop talking to him because you don’t think he’s responding to you. Talk to him. The more time you spend talking with him, the greater chance he is going to let you in on the incredible plan that he has for you. So spend time talking with God. The more you do that, the more you will find your workday, even in the worst environments, even around the worst people, actually gets better.
Because you’re focusing on building that relationship with the only one who truly, truly, truly matters. You’re spending that time focusing on building your relationship with the only one who truly holds your eternity in his hands. You’re focusing on building a relationship with your daddy, your Abba,
So spent on talking to God. You will find that you will spend your day working to please him and not people. So there you go folks. There are five different ways that you can focus on how to work to please God and not people.
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