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A Biblical View of Work

Question: "What does the Bible teach about work?"

Answer: The self-help movement and prosperity gospel has had an impact in the church and to those advocating these philosophies work is about self-fulfillment, personal satisfaction, building wealth, materialism, paying off debts, and the pursuit of pleasure or hedonism. The Bible has a lot to say on the subject of work and how Christians should conduct ourselves among the pagans. There are too many Christians today that do not have a Biblical work ethic and as a result have ruined their testimony. God wants believers to live as the Salt and Light, and be change agents. Christians cannot be change agents if the way the work and act is not different than that of the world. All work is sacred in the eyes of God, whether it be working in a nursing home, repairing computers, driving a forklift, bagging groceries, etc.. Work was not designed to be pleasure based, so those that seek work that is fun, enjoyable, and does not have the painful toil have a misguided theology of work. What God replace is the meaninglessness of work. Work does have a purpose which is to bring glory to Christ (Col 3:23-24). 

Verses

Eph 2:10- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Cor 10:31-Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Col 3:17-And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Ecc 9:10-Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

 

What Work is

Work as Biblically defined according to the NDT for the NT is that followers of Christ are seen as co-workers with God (1 Cor 3:9) and their first priority is the furtherance of the gospel as shown by how they work.

Matt 5:14- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.


How is your testimony at work? if you were brought to trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? What are you doing to further the gospel at work?

 

Application

You are not a failure if you are in a job that is not satisfying. Its very easy to not have enthusiasm if working in a dull & boring career. But the Bible says that Christians are to work  as if working for the Lord and not for men (Col 3:17). Moses was someone that most definitely knew what it was like to experience extreme job dissatisfaction. He went from the Prince of Egypt to being a shepherd in the dessert for 40 years. He was far overqualified for his position and probably many times during that period questioned God and wondered what was going on. He probably saw himself as a failure, but he was not. God was preparing him to lead Israel out of Egypt, and to do so required humility which he was getting a good dosage of as shepherd. Do not doubt God if you are in a dull, low paying, and meaningless career.  Far too many Christians pursue work that pays well so they can acquire more "things." There is nothing wrong with pursuing a higher paying career in an effort to pay off debts, or to support your family, unless paying off debts and supporting your family gets in the way of God. But God can use a dull & meaningless career to teach humility, servitude, and whatever else He wants. So if you are having a hard time finding a good job, first be thankful and content with where you are, & if it is God's will to move you to a different career He will do so as long as you submit to His will.


John Piper Quotes from Don’t Waste your Life

“You don’t waste your life by where you work, but how and why.”
          

“We make much of Christ by working to keep us from being dependent on others, while focusing on the helpfulness of our work rather than the financial rewards.”

  Kent Hughes Quote from Disciplines of a Godly Man

“The Way we work will reveal how much we have allowed the image of God to develop in us. There is immense dignity in work and in being workers.

Recommended Resources:
A Biblical View of Work sermon by John Wolf
Disciplines of a Godly Man by Kent Hughes

Dont Waste your Life by John Piper

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