We don’t have to look far into the scriptures to see that God was the first to work. Genesis 1:1 declares: “In the beginning God created….” God worked for six days and rested on the seventh, the Sabbath. Because all that God is and does is good, we know He sets an example for us as to how we need to consider our work.
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done” (Genesis 1:31-2:2).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
We should always work in a way that produces excellence and brings pleasure and glory to God. God is not looking for perfection in our work but rather a grateful heart that reflects the heart of his Father.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-25).
“Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord” (Ephesians 6:5-8).
No matter what the task, no matter who asked us, our command from God is to give our all into our work with the skill that He has given us. When our hearts beat for Him, our work will bear much fruit. Giving lip service to God by thanking Him for the gifts He has given us and then giving poor work performance is a sin because it violates God’s command. Complaining about a job to do is displeasing to God because He has given us work to show our gratitude to Him. It is not the work but rather our attitude behind the work that matters to God. Whether working at home or in the workplace, God wants us to live Him out by how we work and treat others.
Working solely to make money and gain status does not reflect a Christian worldview. God has much to say about giving to the church, the poor, and those doing God’s work in different ministries. Writing checks is not always the best way to help and support others. Becoming involved in lives with godly counsel, giving clothes and food to those in need. Assisting others but building relationships, praying together and finding jobs will not only provide money for their needs but will also give them a greater sense of God’s purpose for their lives.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal” (John 6:27).
The workplace offers many ways to love others and hopefully, through time, earn the right to share the gospel. No matter what the company rules about sharing your faith, you can speak out your faith through how you work, the kindness you extend to those who are difficult, and your willingness to listen to all people regardless of status.
In their book, Your Work Matters to God, Douglas Sherman, and William Hendricks write: “The key to bringing the culture and the church back together, to renewing the workplace and reforming the church—may well be a movement of people who are known for their hard work, for the excellence of their effort, for their honesty and unswerving integrity, for their concern for the rights and welfare of people, for the quality of the goods and services produced, for their leadership among coworkers—in short, for their Christ-likeness on and off the job. What could an army of such workers accomplish?
Does God care about work? Yes. It is His design for us to grow in wisdom and to be a light to a hurting world.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”(Matthew 5:16).
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command” (John 15:12-14).