Saturday, February 25, 2012

Theology of Work

Recently an employee of a sub-contractor complained to me that he finally had to get a job because his unemployment benefits were running out. I later found out the man is a professing Christian. Should we only look for a job when our unemployment benefits are running out? I think not.

I recently gave a sermon on the theology of work and had many interesting responses. I will share some points.

  • God works. Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” He is not only our creator, He is our Sustainer, Savior, and by his power, He transforms our lives. He works.
  • He rests. Genesis 2:2-3 says, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” God rested, not because He was tired; He rested to set an example for us. I believe He rested to marvel at His own creation. It is good. He rested from His work, made the day holy (time of worship). Our day of rest should be worship, recuperation and restoration; a marveling of God’s creative genius and love He has and continues to show to us.
  • Work was instituted before the fall of man. Genesis 2:15: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Work the Garden of Eden and take care of it? -- Work was designed to be part of our life—before sin entered in.
After the fall, work was not cursed, the soil was. Genesis 3:17: “To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” I believe this is a common misconception among Christians; we think work was cursed. It wasn’t, the soil was. As a result, our work sometimes (or most times) can be toilsome. But I must admit, a good day of work is a blessing from God.

There is much more that could be said, but I ask, what kind of witness do we send by our work ethic? Do we use bad language? Do we gossip? Do we give half effort? Do we respect our fellow workers? Oh, the world is watching.
O Lord, strengthen us in all ways. Give us pleasure and fulfillment in our work. May we be true witnesses for you in the work place. Amen.

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