Friday, February 24, 2012
Sunday, February 05, 2012
You have heard it before, “That’s why they call it work!”
Understanding the value of work, the type of job, the difference between career and job, occupation and calling seems to occupy a lot of our interests and our passions.
The Bible has much to say about work. In the book of beginnings, Genesis, we read that work was part of God's plan for his creation. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15 NIV).
Did you catch that? Adam wasn't there on a vacation, here was there to "work it and take care of it."
Because of the fall of man, work has been a toil “Cursed shall be the ground because of you; in sorrow you shall eat of it all the days of your life. And thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plant of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground; for out of it you have been taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:17-19)
It will not always be that way. In eternity, the curse will be lifted but we will still work. The Bible says that we will serve, some will rule but all will have responsibilities. What responsibilities will be given us in eternity? The Bible says that "His servants shall serve Him" (Rev 22:3) in eternity and that he who has been "faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things" (Matthew 25:23). Whether you are a servant or a rule, you will work.
Today, between the Garden of Eden and eternity, choosing to not work because we can't find the ‘right’ job or because we have government benefits is really not one of our options.
Max Weber, the Prussian sociologist, coined the term, “Protestant Work Ethic” based on a number of observations regarding capitalism and the religious beliefs of the people including Christians who knew the scripture found in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12:
"If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their own work quietly and to earn their own living."
Today Churches rarely quote this verse if someone that is needy asks for help. Churches help people. However, there is much to say that work helps people.
All work glorifies God. Paul said in Col 3:22-24, “Slaves obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service as people-pleasers but with sincerity of heart fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
Slaves had the worst jobs; they were assigned to hard labor, the menial tasks, about as far away from a career that we can think. We are called to work hard at everything because work itself is valuable. It gives us discipline; it keeps us occupied and productive. In all work, we serve the Lord.
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