Our world tabulates success in many ways. As Christians, we know true success comes when we keep Jesus present and active in our work life as well as other areas of our lives.
At the same time, we are taught to be grateful for what we have.
Paul teaches us this way: “in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God” (Philippians) 4:6. He uses the word “everything” to remind us that the world and all that is in it belong to God (Psalm 24:1). Since he is the rightful owner, it is natural we should be thankful for everything in our lives including our work.
But the psalmist gives us a “bigger picture” reason to raise our grateful hearts to God. “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his mercy (love) endures for ever” (Psalm 107:1).
Let’s take some time to examine our lives and our consciences to pinpoint those specific gifts from God that deserve our eternal gratitude.
- “For he is good.” We read that God is good. Find a quiet place with no distractions and contemplate his goodness. What does “goodness” mean? Then, consider the intricate ways God is present in your business when you allow him to be. Consider his presence in your team or your customers. Think of specific ways he has bailed you out of some pretty dark circumstances where your work is concerned.
- “His mercy endures forever.” What is God’s mercy? How has it manifested in your work life? Take some time to detail his forgiveness. Ask, how often do I love God with my whole heart, soul, and body at work? Remind yourself: when we’ve missed the mark, he totally forgives us. Contemplate the times you haven’t loved your team, vendors, customers, or competitors as much and as often as you’ve loved yourself. Then recall God’s mercy for every time you repented.
- “Endures forever.” Prayerfully consider the goodness of our God whose mercies come new every morning. They never stop, no matter how often we fall short or how often we fail.
This month, can we spend a certain amount of time each day in isolation from the world to gratefully approach the Lord and attempt to give appropriate thanks for all he has done for us?
Certainly, as we list our blessings, we should include his goodness in our work and businesses.
But let’s not forget his mercy. He forgives our sins. He excuses our mistakes. He lavishes us with pardon and compassion. It’s all a free gift; it’s his grace. And it’s ours forever.
This month as we count our blessings, let’s remember to lift our grateful hearts in thanksgiving for his loving forgiveness AND his endless mercy.
About Mike Van Vranken
Mike Van Vranken, a lifelong Catholic, is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, and teacher. Following forty years of leading, coaching, and developing business owners, Mike founded Mike Van Vranken Ministries to fulfill his passion to bring Jesus to the world around him. He brings his experiences as a mentor, leader, speaker, coach, and entrepreneur to provide teaching and spiritual leadership to all who are interested. His dream is to deliver the teachings of Jesus to women and men, old and young, poor and rich, people of every background and diversity – to the entire body of Christ.
Mike is co-author of the brand new book: Faith Positive in a Negative World. In paperback and on Kindle now at amazon.com.
Mike is an adjunct professor for the Bishop Greco Institute for Adult Formation of the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport. He writes a monthly column for the Catholic Connection, a magazine published by his Diocese. He served on the founding Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of North Louisiana. He gives Lenten, Advent, and Spiritual Missions, Keynote addresses, Breakout presentations, and he leads retreats. He holds a Masters Degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas. He and Barbara, his wife of 42 years, live in Shreveport, LA.
Discover more about Mike at: www.mikevanvrankenministries.org as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google.