“The ‘Why’ Of Work”

Phil Huber, General Manager at Audrey's 1/8/19

Phil Huber
“The ‘Why’ Of Work”
Message summary: In regard to our vocational work the why is a good question to ask and more importantly to know the answer to. How are you, in your work, being an asset to the planet?

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“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:22-24).
Today we finish the first full work week of the new year. In the course of our chaplaincy we visit people in many different workplace settings, from manufacturing companies to service locations to warehouses. We like our job not only because we like people but we (especially Stephen) likes to get out and see how things are made and how they work.
Of course we also see many people in office settings that tend to look pretty similar from one company to the next. This week I was visiting with Phil Huber, the General Manager of Audrey’s, a company that is a wholesale distributor of gift and home decor items.
Phil is a fellow believer, a devoted Christian worker, so of course we share a common faith in Christ. For many years he had a top management position with Sight and Sound Theaters so he’s had an interesting business background. He led the team that established the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson, Missouri. Branson is where Brooksyne and I spent several days on our honeymoon and it’s near Springfield where we met in college.
Romans 12:12 artworkAs I looked in Phil’s office I saw a photo of his family on the right screen as he did his business work on the left screen. (Photo above.) I told him the left screen shows what he is doing but the right screen show why he is doing it.
Knowing the “why” is an important part of leading a fulfilling life including the very large portion of our life spent at work. Many people really don’t know why they do what they do or they rarely stop long enough to give it much thought. For many years I have considered it a part of my mission to remind people of the why.
In regard to our vocational work the why is a good question to ask and more importantly to know the answer to. How are you, in your work, being an asset to the planet? For most your work is only a relatively small cog in the whole but it is a very important one. Most companies won’t keep you employed if it isn’t!

I pointed out to Phil that providing for his family was an important why of what he was doing but I told him other photos could be on that screen such as a group photo of the employees in his company who, due to his capable management role, benefit with a steady job or a photo of customers who directly and down the line are blessed by the wholesome items his company sells. The photo of the plaque to the left is from Audrey’s and is an example of their inspirational plaques. It now hangs on our living room wall, regularly reminding us of a spiritual truth.
But the “why” for a Christ-follower has an additional dimension. We may fail to see an application to today’s text due to the initial addressee; “Slaves”. Although Paul is addressing the social structure in his own time and certainly we are no longer slaves in the sense they were, the principle remains the same. We need to remember whatever we do, whomever we serve that ultimately, “It is the Lord Christ we are serving.”
Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, though we are not slaves, sometimes working hour after hour, day after day, and year after year can feel a bit like slavery. When we’re not our own boss and must submit to another’s authority at times we’re challenged with keeping a Christlike attitude. We’re reminded in Scripture that we should seek to please our authorities not just when they are watching us, but even when they aren’t. We don’t do our work to seek favor with the boss but we do it because You want us to work like we are working for You. Our greatest and lasting reward will be given to us by You when we receive our heavenly inheritance. We are grateful to You. Amen.


Today’s Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

“Start With Why – TED Talk Short Edited”  Video  Simon Sinek  (5 minutes) After I challenged Phil about the “why” of his work he shared this video, which essentially confirms my counsel, though it comes from a secular perspective.