Most of us know the chorus of the famous country song “Take this Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck. I am sure that many of us, at one time, have entertained the thought of being able to leave the job that we were doing. Yet, we should not be surprised that God never intended work to be such a downer.
It is important for the follower of Jesus to grasp that work is part of God’s plan for our life. We learn in Genesis that God intended for Adam and Eve to work when in the Garden of Eden. What we often fail to understand is that the problem is not with “work,” meaning that work is not evil. But work is affected by sin in a couple of ways. First, because of sin, we must deal with imperfect people and the imperfect environments they create. Second, the physical universe has also been impacted and we have to deal with the consequences. So what you and I need to understand is that problem is not with work but that work as we know it has been impacted by the fall of man.
Here are a couple of take aways from Sunday’s message by Pastor Berney (listen here). First, believe it or not, work makes you a better person. King Solomon, who was a hard worker, made this point. “Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” (Proverbs 22:29) A skilled person is one that has honed his talents and abilities as applied to his trade. He has, in other words, applied himself to becoming better at his work. The Apostle Paul also encouraged the Thessalonian Christians to reflect their spiritual maturity through their work.
A Second take away is that works brings satisfaction to our lives. King Solomon again has something to say about this, “So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot.” (Ecclesiastes 3:22) It is difficult to be satisfied with work until you embrace that it is part of God’s purpose for you. Yes, you can fight it, moan and groan and complain at the cost of your joy. The challenge is to embrace it with it challenges and difficulties allowing God to work in you through your work. We talked about this in our men’s group and each man shared how some of the most challenging work situations actually resulted in growth and maturity.
Now, I realize that some work situations are just toxic. A person in one of those situations should find another job. I want to encourage you to have the right attitude about your job and do it as if Jesus was your boss. The Bible truth written to those in a similar situation challenges us to do our a work as working for Jesus “with a sincere heart,… not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,” (Ephesians 6:5–7)
-Pastor Joe Parkinson