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What Is Your Work ROI?

by | May 2, 2014

When it comes to our work, culture is a world-class trainer. For example, when you ask people why they work or, more specifically, what is the return on investment (ROI) of their work, the trained responses come rolling out.

“My work ROI is my paycheck. My work ROI is enjoying nice material things. My work ROI is prestige. My work ROI is food on the table. My work ROI is a great vacation with my family. My work ROI is …” Many of these ROIs are, in fact, good things when properly managed.

The point? Let me digress for one moment. Over the past few years, I have increasingly used my phone for my Bible study. I can highlight, bookmark, listen and use it any minute of the day. I remember one time I made the dreaded mistake of dropping my phone in a pool. Fortunately, I had also brought along my personal Bible that I have read and marked up for 20 years.

The next morning, I went to a well-worn page in that old Bible –  Colossians 3:23, my favorite work-related verse. But this day, my eyes were drawn to the next verse, Colossians 3:24, “since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

An inheritance? My reward, my ROI, is an inheritance? Our culture did not train me with that answer!


This is such a powerful verse. In the previous verse, Paul extols us to work with all our hearts, but not for our own glory or glory from others, but for God. Now, he’s introducing this idea that when we die, we will be rewarded with an inheritance from God! Can you imagine that scene?

I don’t know what that inheritance is going to be, but I know this – it should completely change the way we view our work. It can’t be any clearer … when we work, we are literally serving Jesus Christ. And our reward, our ROI? God hands us an inheritance.

Life Application:

Spend some time this week studying these two verses. Picture in your mind personally receiving your inheritance from God. Then decide how that should change the way you work.

David Roth

David Roth has been the president and CEO of Workmatters since October, 2003. Workmatters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in Northwest Arkansas in 2003 with a mission is to help people pursue God’s purpose for their work. Since then, Workmatters has been used to impact thousands of leaders in Northwest Arkansas and across the U.S. Prior to leading Workmatters, Mr. Roth was vice president, sales and marketing for J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Before joining J.B. Hunt in 1999, David was the senior vice president of marketing for Manugistics, a supply chain management software provider in Maryland and vice president of marketing for American Software in Atlanta, Ga. He also has nine years of supply chain management experience with McKesson Corporation in San Francisco, Calif. and Harrison, Ark. David has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Arkansas. He resides in Fayetteville, Ark. with his wife, Theresa and has two sons, Dylan and Tyler.