Christians at Work
Bro. David Jury
Your work matters to God. In fact, work is an integral part of God’s master plan for humanity. If you are not fully convinced of this foundational truth, then I invite you to join us during October as we examine the Biblical perspective of work.
In the beginning, God formed Adam in His own image and breathed into him the breath of life (See Genesis 2:7). This set Adam uniquely apart as the pinnacle of God’s creation. God prepared a special garden in Eden as a place for Adam to live. There, he was tasked with the responsibility of working in partnership with God to manage the garden (See Genesis 2:15). As part of his job, Adam had the privilege to name every other living creature (See Genesis 2:19). His compensation was generous and sufficient. Seeing the loneness of Adam, God formed Eve from one of Adam’s rib. Together, they (and all of humanity) were given dominion and responsibility for the earth and all other living beings (See Genesis 1:28).
Sin shattered this perfect place of communing with and working for God. Though God’s grace and mercy intervened for them, Adam and Eve now lived in a world that would never be the same. Nevertheless, work remained an integral part of God’s purpose for their lives. Unfortunately, their survival and the fulfillment of their work responsibilities would now be challenged by heartache, calamity, and environmental challenges. Enjoying the rewards of their labor now demanded the investment of sweat equity (See Genesis 3:17–19).
An intrinsic work ethic has been a part of God’s design for human existence since the beginning. The Bible clearly establishes that you were not created to waste away your life in idleness, but to engage in the work of providing for your family and fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. To this end, Paul instructed the Thessalonians to, “Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing” (1 Thessalonians 4:11–12). Later, he was a bit more direct: “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread” (1 Thessalonians 3:10–12).
Your work matters to God. Consequently, it is vital that you not fall prey to the deception of compartmentalizing your life into spiritual and secular silos. This flawed mindset dictates that God only cares about what you do at church or in your private devotions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Work is not only a basic part of human existence, but is a foundational component of fulfilling Christ’s commission. Paul summarized the overarching truth of Scripture this way: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). His prayer for the Colossians was “that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10). Paul also wrote, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:17). Your work is not just about providing for your family and future. Your work is a powerful, public witness to the peace and purpose that is found in Jesus Christ alone.
Whether you are a nurse or a nanny, a software developer or a sanitation engineer, a cashier or a chef, a public safety officer or a painter, a lawn care worker or a lawyer, a home builder or a home maker, your work matters to God.
Throughout October we will explore more thoroughly the biblical perspective of work. Fortunately, the Bible is replete with principles that should guide how we conduct ourselves as employees and employers. The Scriptures also equip us to excel in entrepreneurship. Further, the Bible provides inspiring examples of men and women who fulfilled God’s purpose and advanced His kingdom through their work within secular educational, political, and economic systems. The biblical record is clear. Your work matters to God.