Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Colossians 3:23

One hundred percent responsible

Let me introduce you to the one hundred percenters: the folk who, when they see a situation that is not as it should be, take steps to correct it. Yes, there are folk like that! Maybe you are among this winning group yourself: you see something that needs doing, and you do it. Most winners have this I-hold-myself-one-hundred-percent-responsible attitude.

In the vocabulary of the one hundred percenters, the words “that’s not my job” don’t exist. When they walk into the office and see an overflowing wastebasket, they empty it, even though it’s not their job. When they see a colleague’s desk overflowing with work, they say, “Can I give you a hand?” instead of pretending they don’t see the person struggling. A one hundred percenter on the factory or warehouse floor has the same “How can I help?” and “Let me pitch in” attitude.

These one hundred percenters are sometimes accused of being a “company man” or “company woman”, to which I say, “But of course they are!” What this means is that when they see something that’s detrimental to corporate welfare—and thus to the welfare of their fellow workers or employees—they automatically take responsibility to see that the situation is corrected, as any responsible person should. This behaviour and attitude are essential to success in any field, whether in producing a happy marital relationship or securing business and career advancement. If you don’t take responsibility to correct the things you see that aren’t as they ought to be, or for improving what needs to be improved, on your own initiative, how can you move towards success at all? You will be one of the “that’s not my job” crowd. This crowd does nothing to produce success—for themselves or for the enterprise they’re part of, whatever it is. Their attitude shoots everybody in the foot, including themselves!

If it’s your responsibility to contribute to the success of the enterprise you’re part of, it’s also true that your own self-advancement is one hundred percent your responsibility, one hundred percent of the time. Of course, as a Christian you will be, and need to be, praying for success. However, over my 87 years of life—70 of them in the workplace, and 40 of those as an employer—I have seen many prayers unanswered and success denied because the person praying had an “I’ll leave it to God” attitude when God was saying, “Do something I can bless! Quit this waiting, get up off your knees, and start taking responsibility for the things you can do and need to do!” You see, as human beings we’re given the privilege and responsibility of partnering with God. So if it’s a promotion you’re seeking, take some evening courses and upgrade yourself. If it’s a job, start sending out résumés and knock on a bunch of doors. These are actions God can bless. We need God’s blessing to be successful in whatever God-honouring endeavour we want to be successful in. However, as the old saying goes, “Pray and work.” The successful person takes one hundred percent responsibility to do their part so God can do his. 

You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. —Psalm 128:2

May the favour of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands.  —Psalm 90:17

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