A new trend in the United States being called “quiet quitting” is where an employee is unhappy with their job, and instead of getting a new one and quitting the one they dislike, they just choose to do a really bad job at the one they have and continue getting paid. They goof off most of the day, staring at their phones, while letting other people around them do their work. Sometimes they even influence other people to join them in their subversion.
Let me cut to the chase. Christians, “quiet quitting” is absolutely not for us. We must do everything as if we were working 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. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.Colossians 3:23-25
The lack of favoritism Paul speaks of cuts both ways with the Lord. If your boss is mistreating you, paying you less than your worth or is generally just a lousy human being, the Lord sees that and He will deal with that person one way or another. It may not come as swiftly as we think they deserve, but the Lord will surely deal with them. As for us, if we slack off, the Lord will deal with us too.
“Quiet quitting” is the antithesis of who we are as Christians. That doesn’t mean that we have to stay at dead-end jobs or environments where we aren’t valued as we feel we should be. It means that while we’re working somewhere, we do it with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as if that job was an act of loving God back for our very salvation, because that’s what Paul is essentially saying it is.
There’s a hopelessness to this notion of quiet quitting that doesn’t befit Christians. It doesn’t matter how many struggles, how many failures or how many mistakes we’ve made, there is a loving, forgiving God waiting for us to run to Him, wanting the best for us. As Christians, there should never be a day where we don’t have hope for the future.
Staying in a job we hate and just doing a bad job is essentially resigning ourselves to hopelessness. It’s as if this is the best we can do, and we hate it, so we’re just going to give up and let the chips fall where they may. That kind of hopelessness can be contagious and we have to fight against it.
I’ve Been There
I have empathy for everyone who finds themselves in that situation right now, because who hasn’t found themselves there every so often. Years ago, I was in a job that I felt underpaid and it had gotten very boring and monotonous. I had basically checked out and was looking forward to the next thing but doing nothing about it. I had, for at least a few weeks, quietly quit before it was cool. Call me a trendsetter.
It was a cubicle job and I had very little riding on my shoulders, but the company and my bosses really liked me, so they were having me sit in on a lot of interviews for new employees during a hiring frenzy we were in. Even that I felt like was a waste of my time, so I wasn’t really taking it seriously.
After all the hiring was over, it was a normal quiet, boring day in the office when I got a call from my friend Draper. He told me that he had a dream about me the night before. In it, Draper, Jesus and I were sitting in the bleachers of a Little League baseball game, eating hot dogs and drinking soft drinks. He said we sat there for a long time without saying anything, just enjoying the game, when finally Jesus leaned over to Draper and said, “Darren has been hiring people at work, but he’s not taking it seriously. Tell him to take it seriously.”
Well that was the gentlest rebuke I’ve ever received in my life, but it stung like someone had pierced my heart with a hot poker. I told Draper over the phone, “Oh, that’s so true, but I’ve really messed this up. We’re done hiring people, so I can’t make it right now. What do I do?”
Draper quipped back, “Well, the Lord told me you’d have one more chance today at 5:37pm.”
I paused for a long time, and told Draper that was an oddly specific time. Unapologetically, he said that’s just what the Lord had told him. Then I told him that it wasn’t going to happen today, because I already had plans to leave early and I couldn’t really change them. He assured me that it was going to happen that day. We argued about it for a while, and eventually we had to hang up.
I did leave work early, but on my way home our office secretary called me and told me that my two bosses were in a meeting with the CEO and they had forgotten about an interviewee who was coming to the office, and they needed me to come back and start the interview. Knowing this was a setup from the Lord, I whipped my car around and went back to work and began praying like no one’s ever prayed.
I sat down to interview the guy and was praying the entire time asking the Lord what it even meant to take this seriously like He wanted me to. Eventually, my boss joined me in the interview and when we finished he walked him out the front door.
It was after hours now and I was standing at our big window looking out from our quiet, empty office asking the Lord what He was doing. Just then, my boss walked back in and asked med what I thought of the interviewee. Before I answered, I looked down at my watch.
I repented that night and went back to working as hard as I could for my true Employer. I’d like to say that was the end of it, but about a six months later I was back in the same place. I was bored and looking toward the next thing somewhere else, but doing nothing about it. I was even offered a massive promotion one day that I immediately turned down. I wasn’t interested in working for the company any more, much less work for them even harder. I should have quit and found a different job, but I was just sticking around and not giving it my best.
That weekend I was griping to the Lord about my job. I told him I wanted to quit and move on to something I thought really mattered.
He thundered back with the sharpest rebuke I’ve ever received from the Lord, and in one of the clearest times I’ve ever heard His voice. “You will throw away your destiny if you do that.”
Immediately I realized I had slipped back into that terrible place. How could the Lord trust me to do something that “really mattered” if I couldn’t be faithful with something I thought was small and menial? I repented again and went back to work as if I was really working for the Lord.
I’d love to say that I’ve never slipped back into that mentality again, but I have found myself there on occasion. Every time I repent and I run back to the Lord. He is gracious and forgiving. Everything I do, from the smallest task to the most important positions of authority I’ve been granted, I want to do as if God Himself is my direct employer. Because He really is. He is the eternal rewarder, and I’m actually working for that paycheck a lot more than I’m working for the ones I get now.
Choose You This Day
Today may be the day to repent if you’ve been caught up in that swirl of “quiet quitting.” It’s not who we are. If you’re in an awful job, do the best you possibly can starting today, but look for a new job. As followers of Jesus we know that there is always something better around the corner, so we have no need to fall into the hopelessness about our station that our enemy would want us to believe, no matter the job, economical or social climate.
“Quiet quitting” is not for us, and we need to repent and run back to God quickly if we’ve found ourselves there. He has been immeasurably gracious to me, and He will be to you, too.