The Value Of Work

My grandmother taught me that work and having a good work ethic, is a part of God’s plan for man’s happiness and fulfillment in life, being a blessing – not a curse! We know this is true, because shortly after creating the world and making man of the dust, “the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Thus Paradise was not a place of constant leisure and no responsibilities. Whether we are thinking of secular work by which we provide a living for our family, or working in the Lord’s service, let’s look and make application of the following biblical principles:

1) Find a work suited for you — Because of background, natural ability, education, experience, and interest, we do some things better than others. “For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function….” (Romans 12:4).

2) Do your best at whatever work you do — Whether we are doing the Lord’s work or secular work, we are still working for the Lord. In both functions, we are to work “heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24).

3) Schedule times of rest — After creating the world in six days, God set the example by resting on the seventh day. When the apostles had completed some work and reported to Jesus on the results, Jesus said, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

4) Train others to take over your responsibilities when you are gone — It is no compliment to anyone’s effectiveness and leadership for any work to show a decline after he or she moves, is promoted, or retires. Paul gives us the principle as he writes to Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

5) Challenge yourself by preparing for the kind of work in the future that will call for growth — An excellent example, is the challenging work of an elder, addressed in Paul’s letter to Timothy, “If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1). The person who does well in any task, is one who has focused his heart on it and has prepared for it.

Beloved, last but certainly not least, let us not neglect to teach our youth the value of a good work ethic by having a good work ethic ourselves. Remember that any work we do deserves our best effort, because we’re really working for the Lord (cf. Ecclesiastes 9:10; Jeremiah 48:10; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:22-24).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets

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