Work looks a little different this Labor Day. Since the COVID-19 quarantine, many have been working from home. Kitchen tables have become desks and meetings have become virtual. And sadly, many have lost their jobs. Even in the midst of staying at home, many are busier than ever trying to juggle work, family, homeschool, and more, all within the same four walls.
Work – or lack of work – may be more frustrating than ever right now. So, in honor of Labor Day, I thought it’d be a good opportunity to point us back to God’s original design for work, so we can view it biblically.
My father had a biblical perspective on work and purposefully sought to instill the same in me and my brother when we were growing up. First, he led by example and second, he made sure we got plenty of practice by giving us chores around the house.
My Father’s Purposeful Training
Of all my family responsibilities, the task I disliked the most was sweeping the pine straw off the patio and driveway. The dozens of pine trees in our front and back yards dropped lots and lots of needles. Plus, the concrete of the patio and driveway wasn’t smooth. It had lots of little pebbles in it that caught the needles. It seemed I would never finish.
Although I hated that particular task back then, now I appreciate Dad’s purposeful training. He cultivated the patience required to stick with a tedious task and helped us experience the joy of a job well done. He not only equipped us to work, but he also prepared us to benefit from the God-given sense of fulfillment that comes from work.
Sadly, work is way under-rated today. It seems many in our culture view work as bad. Some try to avoid it as much as possible. Others merely endure it as a “necessary evil.”
Work is a Gift from God
But “work” is not a 4-letter word. Work is a gift. Although sin has made work more difficult (Genesis 3:17-19), God created work as good. Before the Fall, He gave work to mankind as a gift (Genesis 2:15). In its right form, work brings fulfillment, a sense of purpose, and joy. (See also “Created for Work.”)
Even this side of the Fall God declares hard work to be wise and laziness to be foolish (Proverbs 6:6-11). Those who work will have abundant food and those who “chase fantasies” will lack (Proverbs 28:19).
I know current circumstances prevent some from working who want to. Who long to. In normal times, unemployment is the exception. And my prayer is that when COVID is no longer a threat, it will be the exception again. Even now, those without employment who are able to work, can focus their energy on other things. Even if it’s cleaning out a closet! That would bring me a real sense of accomplishment!
God wired us to work. He created us with a need to invest ourselves in something. To create. To form. To produce. And the benefits are boundless. Not only do we reap the fruit of our labor and earn our keep, we also experience a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and joy. Yep. God really knew what He was doing. Work. It’s a good, God thing.
What is your work status right now? Are you working from home? Out of work?
Before you go… It’s not too late to join in the Hebrews study. It starts today on Facebook.