I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. – Thomas Jefferson.
Work can be irritating and aggravating. It can be physically painful and exhausting, while also a source of great insecurity and fear. Work is tough, both mentally and physically. We wake up, go to work (whether it’s to an office or at home), then complete work projects in the home. There always seems to be something to work on.
Our culture screams many false accusations against and about work. Specifically, “work is a necessary evil.” This false understanding of work has crept into our churches too, but the lie has been flipped over to say, “only God’s work is good.” This implies that vocational ministry is the best way to serve God. Or we hear, “you must only work where God is calling you to work.”
NEWS FLASH! Work is good. In fact, it’s so good that God designed work to be part of paradise. We see this in Genesis 1-2. God worked for six days, and concluded that His work was good.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. – Genesis 1:31
Work is good, because God is good.
Work is also good because God gave it to us.
Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it…let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. – Genesis 1:26b, 2:15
God gave man and woman dominion over all creation. We see later in Genesis 2 that Adam named the animals and cultivated the garden. God created Eve specifically to be Adam’s great helper in his work. The task of ruling over creation, cultivating the garden, tending to the needs of creation was not easy. But it was work, and it was good.
We also see in Genesis that there is dignity in work. We have been created in the “image of God,” in His “likeness.” We were created to represent and reflect the character of God. Just as God is the ruler of the universe, so we have been tasked with ruling over creation as His stewards. In other words, you and I were created to reign with Most High and represent the character of our great God. I cannot think of a more noble or admirable job.
We see this more applicably in work today. Since the beginning, mankind has innovated with the intentions to make our world a better place. This is a direct correlation to the fact that God is creator. Like God created the intricacies of life, structures of scientific law, so man has done the same. We are all artistic in our work: from the mechanical engineer designing a spaceship to the ballerina who displays the emotions of our souls through dance; we are all like our Creator.
Lastly, work is good because it is a necessity in the process of making disciples. We are all called to make disciples of all nations. This mandate is not just limited to the vocational minister. In fact, as believers, there is no separation of vocation. We are all vocational disciple-makers, whether we are working in a ministry capacity or within the workforce.
To make disciples demands action and labor. Raising your children is no lazy or idle task; it is active and constant, tiresome and rewarding. Being a part of or leading a Bible study for young adults is no easy feat. Teaching and accurately dividing the Word of Truth requires long and hard work. One cannot make disciples if they are not working at it.
Work is so good. It is such a privilege to have work and to represent Jesus Christ through our work. I hope you are encouraged to work hard as unto the Lord, knowing that your Lord works hard too, and He delights in your labor.
What hinders you from having a healthy attitude at work? Who inspires you to work hard? When is it hardest to work diligently?