Once upon a time, I heard myself utter the phrase, "I'm not paid enough to care about that."  Years later, a boss explicitly told me not to do something because, "you aren't paid enough for that."  The other day, I was told to excuse a volunteer's lack of enthusiasm and follow-through because, "he's doing this for free, anyway."  All of this reminded me of a particular fact: you have to be motivated to work.

Most of us look at our paycheck at the end of the day, week, or month and consider that motivation enough to do a good job.  If the pay is low, we might not double-check reports before filing them and may become lax with our start/stop times in the office.  If the pay is high, we'll work a bit harder so that we feel like we've earned the paycheck.  In many cases, our reward is our motivation to work.

But in reality, we should focus on another type of motivation.  Those of us saved by Christ are bound to Him both in this life and the next.  Everything we do should reflect not our debt to Him, but our desire to serve Him with the best of ourselves.  If you owe a man everything, wouldn't you proofread a letter before sending it?  Wouldn't you double check that the paint is dry before signing off a project as "complete?"

Following a Biblical model of service requires that we give our all in every situation as if we were doing the work for Christ himself.  If you get paid at the end of the day, that's an added bonus provided by God.  If you get paid a lot at the end of the day, you're blessed even further.  If you're not paid at all, you're still rewarded by the confidence in a job well-done.

So whatever the job, and whatever the immediate reward, our motivation shouldn't lie in the number on a check but in the duty we have in Christ to serve at the best of our ability.  In reality, you're paid more than enough to care about that.  You are paid enough to do difficult tasks.  Even if you're doing it for free you should work as if this is the most important task set before you - because any task set to us by Christ is the most important task before us.

Where do you find your motivation?  In work?  In your volunteer activities?