Why Work Matters
When a new reality TV show came out taking place in a city in which my husband formerly lived, we were intrigued to see how his old stomping grounds were portrayed through the lives of the characters in the show. They were several wealthy young adults who live off their family’s fortunes and didn’t have to work. At first glance, of course one thinks,
“Wow, how awesome would it be not to have to work?”
But as the show goes on, the glam wears off and it becomes apparent that these voluntarily jobless individuals experience a lack of purpose, meaning and significance that often comes from, yes, working.
Even though our work can bring challenges and hardships of many kinds, something inside us tells us that work is a good thing. This is because work is a God thing. Here are four reasons why work matters:
Work matters because…God worked. The creation story in Genesis reveals a God who worked to create the heavens, the earth and everything in it: “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing…” (Gen. 2:2). If God worked and we are made in His image, shouldn’t we also be workers too?
Work matters because… God commands us to work. When God created human beings, one of the first things He commands them to do after placing them in the garden was “to work it and take care of it” (Gen. 2:15). We were created to be stewards, or caretakers, of God’s creation and this comes none other than through the work of our hands.
Work matters because… it keeps us from pursuing wrong things. The apostle Paul notes that those who waste their time in idleness or in a non-productive manner are easily led into sin: “We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies” (2 Thess. 3:11). Their lack of work was leading them into behaviors that were unhealthy and it stirred up trouble. We are susceptible to the same thing if we choose not to work.
Work matters because… it allows God’s love and power to flow through us. I love the Psalmist’s words, “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (Ps. 90:17). When we entrust our work into the hands of our Lord, He helps us to accomplish what we need to by His love, power and grace. When we put out hearts, hands and minds to work, people will see God at work in us.
We may at times aspire to get to a point where we need not work. Or we may wish we were born into a situation where work was not a necessity. But this is simply not the way God intended things to be. He worked to create us and designed us to work for Him, for our own good and His. Let’s take that into our work today, whatever it is–whether a full time parent or a corporate CEO–thanking God that we get to work and when we do, He is glorified.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).
(This post is adapted from an article published in The Brink magazine, a devotional magazine for twenty somethings that challenges its readers to belong, grow, and serve.)
*Do you find yourself lacking purpose or meaning in your life or work? If so, maybe you’d like to consider life coaching. I would love to come alongside you and partner with you in figuring out the meaningful work God is calling you to do in this world. Go to my coaching page to find out more.