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WORK…can be considered a joy or a punishment. It dominates the economic landscape. It’s been around since creation. Adam was told to ‘tend the garden’. They were the first ‘farming family’. And just ask any early rising farmer or cattleman if it is easy? They’ll tell you no, but absolutely necessary. Why? Well, they like to eat, actually need to eat to live. I watched (notice, watched) my grandparents milking cows, feeding chickens, slopping the hogs, plowing the fields, cooking 3+ meals a day, growing and canning food–and so much more. There was no option to work. Ya don’t work–ya don’t eat! That’s Biblical! “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10b).


Then why is it considered by many to be such a daunting exercise? You’ve heard all the grumbling and complaining–‘gotta go to work’; ‘when will this day end’; ‘I can’t stand my job, my boss’! Remember the song lyrics–‘take this job and shove it!’ Sorta speaks volumes about how we view work.


Work is supposed to be fulfilling. God intended for us to enjoy accomplishing something, serving others, creating! It’s part of our make-up. Many focus too much on the time off, the vacations, the breaks, the perks, without earning them. Could this be that we are a fallen race caused by our sin?


Man is not meant for welfare. It destroys his self worth. Ask anyone that has lost their job or career how they feel. Answers range from ‘devastating’ to ‘I can’t wait to find another job’. Man was meant to work!


After God spent six fantastic days of work on His creation, He was so satisfied, He called it good, even very good! Then He posted the lifetime work schedule on man’s bulletin board. His ‘to do’ list; four things right from the start.


          God’s TO DO List for Adam


Fill the earth

Subdue it

Have dominion over it


Then He later told His people that there was to be one day for rest–the Sabbath–so they would be refreshed to get back at it again. I do think it is reasonable to believe that our work would have been much easier if Adam had not gone selfish and disobedient. Being excommunicated from the Garden did have its consequences.


The God-ordained work ethic was never to be punishment, but fulfillment. Anyone into that? Jesus went straight from a life of carpentry to missionary. He was fully man and knew the responsibility we all have here on earth. He remained content until His Father showed Him it was time to move to another vocation. Are you content where you are? Or are you always looking for that next job, never completely satisfied with where God has you? God tells us to ‘bloom where we are planted’. The plant doesn’t move itself; only God moves the plant! And our work, wherever we are ‘planted’, should glorify God. That may be the strongest witness to an unbelieving world. Ask the question: ‘am I a bank employee (example only) who happens to be a Christian, or am I a Christian that just happens to be a bank employee?’ It makes all the difference in your attitude toward your work, your work ethic and your witness at work! “Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them”

(I Cor.7:17a).


And the more joy we have in our work, the more people will be drawn to Him, through you. I read the story about a noted German who, during the time of Hitler, worked in the offices of the government. As he would walk down the halls each day he noticed the rapid typing sounds from behind the door of a particular typist. It stood out compared to all the others. So, one day he asked her; “why do you work so hard when all the others just ‘do their job’?” Her response became the catalyst for him to eventually become a Christian. “She said she worked to glorify her Lord, not to please man.” Are we conducting our work each day with this mindset? Would you agree that her possible ‘life verse’ might have been Ephesians 6:7? “Serve (work) wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”


And God promises He will reward you, now and eternally. And since the very first moment you were in the mind of God, He had a wonderful plan for you to fulfill. And in fulfilling it, He would be glorified. Can you get your mind around that? If so, it might just change the way you approach your ‘work’ each day. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 3:10). So, what work does He have for you to do today? Whatever it is, throw yourself into it with the ‘joyful gusto of Jesus’!


Copyright 2014

Bill C. Dotson



Scripture taken from the New International Version

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