Have you ever heard it said that work is a curse? I know I have! In some church settings, work has even been framed as part of the consequences Adam and Eve faced after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I think some of the biggest lies the enemy tells us is that our work is a curse and gets in the way of “our calling” or what we were “meant to do.”
If we carefully examine scripture, we see that when the world was in it’s most perfect position, Adam was given work to do. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” Work was never meant to be a curse! In fact, it was our first mandate and calling as humans (even long before the great commission). I would argue that work was given to us to be a conduit for many blessings in our lives.
To fully grasp this, it is important to recognize that we are made in the image of God, and God is the hardest worker that exists. John 5:17 says, “…Jesus said to him, my father is always at his work to this very day, and I am too working.” From the work of creating the world, to the work Jesus did for years as a carpenter, to parables about business, part of our identity as Christians is that we work. If we want to be like Jesus, to imitate Christ, to be a child of God, we should be outworking those around us.
The fullness of God is revealed in our work and as we collaborate with God we work to see things made right in the world! Does that mean work is always fun? No. But, the purpose of our work is to do good, not necessarily to always feel good. By doing good, we feel more fulfilled and satisfied with our work. Jesus probably did not enjoy his work every day, in fact, His “work” included him dying on the cross. But he was driven by the reward, driven by purpose and providing something good to others!
So why do we feel, at times, that work is a curse? I think, at the root of this problem is compartmentalism. The enemy wants us to take what is meant to be something that is whole, and we put it into different compartments that are now disconnected and separate. We start to feel that only the spiritual things we do are approved by God and that those are the places where God can teach us, grow us, and help us to thrive.
This is not the case. Work is not in a compartment that is separated from God, or from His love, or from His redemptive power! Work can actually be part of how we demonstrate the nature of God to a broken world! As we see work through His eyes, and not the lies of the enemy, we become more effective in His kingdom!
Let’s partner with God’s redemption and blessings in our work today! Let’s go to work with a mind to demonstrate Him and the way He works to others!