Focus less on WHAT and more on HOW

Most of the time when we think about our lives we think…

“WHAT does God want me to do with my life?”  


“WHAT should I do for work?”


“WHAT are my talents?”


“What am I doing with my life?”

We usually think in terms of “What.”


However, SCRIPTURE suggests to us that the HOW is more important than the WHAT.

23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 

Colossians 3:23-24

In other words, God’s will is more about “HOW” we live than exactly WHAT it is we do.

What if we found out God’s big plan for our lives is that we wouldn’t spend so much time trying to figure out a big plan for our lives? Perhaps He just wants us to love Him and each other. – Bob Goff

This thought should recalibrate how you approach your day.

“HOW” you work has an impact on your:

  • attitude,
  • work ethic, and
  • reactions.

HOW you go about your day and HOW you do your work is MORE important than the specific job you are doing.

Maybe if we never get to WHAT we are hoping for until we learn HOW to have the right attitude where we are right now. Why would God get you to the where…if HOW isn’t working for you?

What if HOW you get your work done and HOW you interact with others were the most important things?

The HOW is critical in your marriage and parenting.

What if WHO you are married to is not as important as HOW you are married to that person? Maybe if WHAT your kids are doing is less important than HOW you are responding to them. You can love them well.  You can serve them well well.

Sometimes when we are not doing WHAT we want to be doing, we aren’t paying attention to HOW we are doing it. But, the HOW is more important than the WHAT.

I had a job I loved before becoming a mother. When my 3rd child was born, I came home full time. I  was no longer recognized or rewarded for the work I was doing. My kids never said “Good job mom! Thanks for waking up so early. Thanks for always doing the dishes, washing our clothes, playing with us, changing our diapers and cleaning up our messes.” In spite of this, I asked God for strength and JOY in what I was doing. I wanted to enjoy my kids and my role in motherhood. I wanted to savor these years and keep a grateful heart and a good attitude. I knew God saw me.

I did wonder if I’d even have any marketable skills after taking care of babies for so long. And guess what, when I went back to work, I found that I hadn’t lost the skills I had before parenting. In fact, I was probably more efficient and a little more effective.

Wherever you are…whatever you are doing…approach it with gratitude and the right attitude.

Perhaps you are a full-time mom, wishing you could escape that roll some days. God has you there, ask Him for strength and allow Him to use you.

Perhaps you are a full-time employee, wishing you could quit. God has you there, ask Him for strength and allow Him to use you.


You may not be doing WHAT you want to do. But you still need to think about HOW you are approaching what you do.

Let’s look at these verses:

Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Maybe the questions we need to ask ourselves are:

  • HOW am I working well in my job? 
  • HOW am I living well in my neighborhood?  
  • HOW am I loving well in my marriage?
  • How am I modeling well in my motherhood?

Faith-filled action step:

Write down areas that you can improve, with God’s help:

  • Talk to your spouse about “how” to love or serve him better…
  • Get feedback from your neighbors, co-workers, or boss on “how” you can be of support to them…
  • Have your kids write down 3 or 4 things that you can do to help your relationship with them (reading a story, putting away your phone so you can stay engaged, listening better when they are talking about their day, or investing in areas that you see they are gifted in)

Looking at “how” you are living a significant life is a great exercise in self-reflection.

Remember, life is less about WHAT we are doing than HOW we are doing it!


Kathryn Egly and the Help Club for Moms

(This post was adapted from a sermon my husband gave many years ago when he was a teaching pastor)

Kathryn Egly
Latest posts by Kathryn Egly (see all)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.