Can Work Be Redeemed?
Why is work so hard? Why is it painful? When someone asks about your job, complaints often proceed, “work has been so busy, my boss is ridiculous,” or “I don’t get paid enough for what I do.” The pain and hardship never seems to let up. We are busier, more stressed, and more physically drained than ever before. Work is often associated negatively; “It is just a necessary evil, a means to an end.”
But can it be good? God worked didn’t He? He created the world in six days and rested the seventh. Sure, He could have spoken the entire world into existence in one moment, but do you think there was a greater purpose? Do you think God could have left a weekly pattern that he wants us to follow?
Adam worked too. The first man on earth had a job, naming the animals. He did so without complaint or frustration. He was given a specific task with a specific purpose and he fulfilled it. Work was simpler then and probably a lot less demanding.
Unfortunately, something happened. Sin happened. In Genesis chapter three, Adam ate of the forbidden fruit and was told that work would now be hard. Labor wouldn’t be without toil, and even the food we eat would be difficult to harvest. It is because of this great fall that the rest of mankind would suffer. Sin is the reason that work is grueling, employers are greedy, and employees are lazy.
It may seem that hope is lost. Work is difficult and won’t get any easier. Sin has ruined it (just like a lot of other things in our lives). Because of that, we tend to separate our work life from everything else. It doesn’t feel like a spiritual endeavor. It is simply a means to an end. We have biblical obligations to work for food and provide for our families (2 Thessalonians 3:10, 1 Timothy 5:8). The bible is also clear in rebuking the sluggard (Proverbs 13:4, 10:4, 18:9, 21:25). Other than those basic priorities, our every day jobs don’t seem to have much eternal worth.
An average person could think that their everyday work is “less worthy” than ministry. They can remove spirituality from their occupational endeavors and only focus on the “true work,” church work.
Is that right? Is it ok to neglect worldly responsibilities to focus on “church” responsibilities? God does say, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord not for men” (Colossians 3:23). All of our work, church focused or job focused, seems to serve a greater purpose. It is all for God’s glory, and it is all important.
To remove spirituality from work seems to contradict teachings in scripture. Maybe church endeavors and occupational endeavors don’t have to be separated. Maybe work is a ministry, and God has placed you there with talents and skills that will put Him on display and give Him glory.
Can work be redeemed and can our purpose be greater? Come Sunday to Faith Bible Church and find out…