Is work a curse or blessing? I’ve heard it explained both ways.
Suggested Daily Reading: Ephesians 6:1-9
Meaningful work is a blessing. God works. Holy angels work. We are called to work. Our first parents worked in Paradise before sin entered this world (Gen. 2:15) and one day all the redeemed in heaven will work (Rev. 22:3). But after Adam sinned, God cursed the ground for mankind. Thorns and thistles entered into our work; and work involved sweat (Gen. 3:17-19). This means that we are to view work as a God-given blessing, but due to sin, every type of work on this earth will have its hardships, problems, disappointments and struggles. We will also find work difficult at times and we will sweat. Every occupation in today’s fallen world will have its own “thorns and thistles” and we will “sweat” because of its struggles and challenges.
God calls us to work. Read the suggested daily reading above as one example. Therefore, we are to think about our work and perform it in ways that honor God. The following four biblical principles should guide or thoughts and actions:
- Honorable work is a sacred calling of God. We are to serve God in our work, to be conscious of His presence and to please Him with our work.
- God calls every person to his or her work. We are therefore answerable to Him for our attitude and performance.
- Service is to be the primary motivation and goal. Yes, we may make money by working and even a great deal of money, but serving God and others by using my God-given talents is to be the main motivation.
- We are to be devoted to our work, but not enslaved to it. Our work calling is important, but we are to balance this with our other callings, e.g. our callings to promote and maintain our spiritual, emotional, mental and physical health of ourselves and our families.
Careers do not only include work outside of the home. It is important to remember that the career that influences the life of another human being more than any other occupation in the world is the calling to serve as a Mother.
In all aspects of life, we are to love and glorify God, and to love and serve others. This includes our work life.
Read Colossians 3:22-23. What does God mean here when He instructs us to do our work “heartily”? and to do our work “as to the Lord, and not unto men”? How should a Christian’s attitude and devotion to his or her work differ from a non-Christian’s? How should it differ when the boss is absent, or not respectful and fair, or one who is difficult to work for?