Most of us spend much of lives working. So why do we work? The Bible gives us several reasons to work:
- To fulfill our purpose. God created us to work. God made Adam and gave him the task of working and keeping the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). Part of why we are here is to do the work God created for us to do. We work to fulfill our purpose.
- To provide for ourselves. II Thessalonians 3:10-12 says each of us should earn our own living, and that if we don’t work, we shouldn’t eat. So we work to provide for ourselves so we can live and eat and stay warm. By extension, we work to provide for our families so they too can live and eat and stay warm. We work to provide for ourselves.
- To help those in need. Ephesians 4:28 tells us to labor so that we may have something to share with those in need. Based on the passage under the last point, I don’t think it is talking about lazy people who won’t work (and hence shouldn’t eat). Rather, I take those in need to be people who can’t work due perhaps to a disability, health, or age. Or someone who has lost a job or a source of income, and though they are trying to provide for themselves, it isn’t currently enough. All that to say, we need discernment to know who is really in need. And we need to recognize that one reason God gives many of us the health and ability to work is so we can help those who can’t. We work to help those in need.
- To love God. Work is an important application of the Great Command. If I love God with all of my mind and strength, I will use the mind and strength God has given me to do the work he has given me to do. Wasting my mind and strength does not show love to God. We work to show our love for God.
- To love people. Work is also an important application to the second great command. If I love my family, I will work to provide for them. If I love those in need I will work to help them. If I love my employer, I will serve him faithfully. If I love the customers and clients, I will provide the products and services they need. If I love my family, I will do the necessary chores around the house. We work to show our love for people.
The Bible gives us many reasons to work. Why do you work? Are you working to fulfill your purpose, provide for yourself, help those in need, and show love to God and people?