Work is good because God created it. It is a part of God’s divine plan and was part of life in the perfect Garden of Eden. He gave mankind the responsibility of tending and working the ground to bring produce. “Then the Lord God took man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15) Work, therefore, should be seen as a gift of God, an assignment that is divinely blessed.
Work is not a curse that is due to sin or the fall of man. Sin did not make labor necessary but it did make it less rewarding and more prone to problems, burdens, and frustrations. (Genesis 3:19) Work as a blessing of God had been established prior to the fall and should therefore not be seen as punishment but as part of His perfect plan. Idleness and laziness are actually cursed in the Scriptures (Ecclesiastes 10:18; Proverbs 24:28-34).
God is portrayed in the Scriptures as a working God. We are created in His image thus we understand it is our sacred privilege and standard practice to work. The Lord God labored in creation and has continued to do so in time and history. (Genesis 1:26-27; Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 28:29) We become more like Him and reflect His image and glory as we follow His perfect example. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.” (Exodus 20:9)
Jesus worked (John 5:17). He worked the works of God His Father and He labored physically as a carpenter before His public ministry. (John 9:4; Mark 6:3) Jesus was actively working throughout His life. An often overlooked or minimized fact of Christ’s life is that for about 18 years (from ages 12-30) He served as a carpenter. At the age of thirty, He entered into His public ministry and ultimately died on a cross to save us from our sins. He continues to work even now as He carries out His perfect plan.
As Christians, our highest calling is serving Christ, with every fiber of our being, thus our work is a ministry unto Him and for His glory. (Colossians 3:17; 3:23) We serve Him as ambassadors for Christ and the work we render is ultimately to Him and for Him and we do it for the Lord and not as unto men. This changes our entire purpose and therefore changes our total perspective and approach to our daily work.
As God’s people, we reflect His glory by working with integrity in the workplace. The Christian worker ought to be the best in the company, business or organization. Understanding that we are accountable to Almighty God, we strive to please the Lord, abiding by and living out our faith with the highest of moral scruples and biblical standards. This causes God to get glory, makes us model employees (employers), draws others to Christ our Lord, and validates our claimed faith. (Psalm 26:11; 78:72; Proverbs 11:3; Matthew 6:33; James 2:17-18)