Work is tough, it’s not fun. How easy would it be if we could enjoy our lives without the long and laborious work associated with the same? Especially now when we live in an instant access generation, where everything is at our fingertips is it fair to wait for returns that come in a long term. It’s the “startup and run” phase that seems to be holding sway where retiring in 2 years is the new “in thing”
The value of hard work is something slowly fading. A lot of people are submitting to laziness, inaction and ineffectiveness. We must go back and learn the Christian principles of work and its value for us. There’s a lot to be found in “the Word” about work and its counterpart laziness. Something that like most things “Christ” rebel against established norms : ).
So what’s Work according to the Bible
The Church looks at work highly as it is connected to our being made in the image and likeness of God. Remember the first worker we hear about was God when he made our creation. A false reading of Christian theology assumes that work was a curse put on us by God when he banished Adam and Eve out of the Garden, however what we tend to forget is that Adam and Eve even when in the Garden were assigned to keep and maintain it.
So how should be our attitude towards work.
Work is spiritually enriching
Work is not only physical providing for our physical needs but also provides and enriches our spirit. Genesis 1:1-2 “God worked before He rested” and we being made in his image and likeness requires us to work to provide rich dividends to our soul. Proverbs 13:4 “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied”
The Lord will reward greatly those who follow the work ethic as advised by him.
Work is truly following the commandment of “Loving Your Neighbour”
A job worth doing is worth doing well (and right). We should look at our work as service to other people shown through the “Love of our neighbor”. Remember the self-sacrificial love expressed by Jesus who led by example and washed the feet of his disciples. For Jesus serving others was the only way to love them
This train of thought is not only beneficial in truly being productive but it also helps us avoid all the unnecessary roadblocks related to professional jealousy, an unproductive rat race and looking at false benchmarks to measure our success.
Work is a means of recognizing the greatest of God’s gifts i.e. Us.
A job done well results in feelings of self-fulfillment, accomplishment and a level of trust. Work is not only for others but for us as well. When we work in excellence and finished it, we immediately feel good about ourselves, our confidence increases and we are ready to take one another challenge.
Work is a means to fulfill a goal
Sometimes when we question the purpose of the many tasks we are set, we may trivialize the job at hand and question our importance or purpose. On the other hand we may also hold “Work” to be the end goal, and begin to worship it. Work is a means to fulfill God’s purpose for our existence on this earth, it is a means to glorify him and recognize him for all the graces we receive from him. So neither is work an end unto itself and nor is it without purpose.
So who is the ideal worker I can follow, well like everything our answer lies in WWJD (What would Jesus Do)
Jesus was a hard worker
But Jesus answered them, My Father is at work until now, so I am at work. (John 5:17) ,this is the time the Pharisees questioned his healing the sick man during the Sabbath. He showed that not even the Jewish “day of rest” is reason for Him to do good deeds to those in need. We too, when the situation calls it, should be able to forego rest in order to do a better thing – that is to serve others.
Jesus finished His work
Work will be tough, tasks may seem impossible. Jesus’s passion in the Garden of Gethsemane does clearly highlight that he was well aware of the hardships, and also of the burden that was to be set upon him. But in the end he does submit to the will of the Father, because in the accomplishment of the task does he see a greater good. We not only reflect our character but also honour the lord when we complete the work set before us.
Jesus took responsibility
We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.
Although Jesus is speaking spiritually here, it is also a good principle to adopt in our work. Jesus knew when the time to work is and when is the time to rest. He knew that His time on Earth is limited that is why He did what he could do to heal, teach and disciple as many people as He can. When we are at work, let us focus on our work. Let us not get distracted with things that can slow down or hinder our work. We should not “play” during work and not work during play. When we are at home, let us make the most to spend quality time with our family.
Jesus recognizes that his accomplishments are a testament to the grace of the father
All the work that Jesus did was testimony to the Lord. And he clearly does acknowledge the same. His achievements and opportunities are all attributed to the God the father. So to must our lives and worksbe dedicated to the Father. .Whenever we work and we do it excellently, we glorify the Father. People should see how great the God who created us through our work /
God created man in His image and likeness. When we work, we are exercising God’s design for us as His co-creators. Work is pleasing to God because it glorifies Him who created us in excellence. When we work diligently, we are imitating Jesus, our Lord.