Some of us have accumulated some pretty healthy accolades over the years.  Just looking down my hallway I see top salespeople for national organizations, decorated military veterans, officers of publicly traded companies and, of course, some extremely well-credentialed academics.

Perhaps you have done the same.  You worked hard to advance and put yourself at the top of your field.  You came in early, stayed late, took work home and burned the midnight oil to perform at a promotable level.  And now you are being rewarded for all your work.  Well done!  I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labor.

But sadly, whether you are a successful person ultimately has little to do with that.  Certainly you want to be faithful in your work but faithful workers and workaholics are two different things.  The latter need to constantly be working because that is how they know they are valuable.  The former perform their work “as unto the Lord”, not to feel good about themselves but out of gratitude to their Master and Savior who has provided them with well-being of a transcendent kind.

Those who have known the joy of the Lord have found it so surpassingly gratifying that they gladly trade all their hard-fought accomplishments to receive it.  I have seen this, as I look down my hallway.

My colleagues are awesome but it has little or nothing to do with all their accomplishments.  They are awesome because the love of Christ flows through them.  They jump at the opportunity to cover a class or an exam for one another.  They volunteer to try fixing the copy machine for a fellow who has jammed it for the third time that day.  They give gifts, pray prayers and share joys and sorrows with one another.

They have gained Christ, and they have shared Him with those around them, including me.  Go ahead and work hard my friends, but never pass up the chance to trade your trinkets for the joy of knowing Christ and sharing His perfect love with everyone around you.

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8.