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Work as it Was Meant to Be

Job got you down? Do you sometimes have to drag yourself out of bed to get ready for work? Are some days at work sheer drudgery? You’re not alone. Everyone has experienced this. We have seen in Genesis 3 that work has become laborious as a result of mankind’s sin.

If your job has you down, it is predicted, it is to be expected, it is part of the fall. But there is hope.

 

Work as it Was Meant to Be

Before the world was infected by sin, Adam was given a responsibility to work with his hands in the garden. This was honorable for Him and honoring to God because he was fulfilling his call as the image bearer of his Creator. The challenge for us is to recapture the pre-fall dignity of work.

Yes, sin came into the world, but Christ came to redeem us from the curse and reverse its effects. We will not be fully released from the gravity of sin until we are in His presence, but the beauty of the Christ-redeemed life is that we can live above the power of sin—now.

Just because the world is fallen does not mean we must live as fallen. We now have the possibility to recapture God’s original purpose in all things. The result of the fall is the struggle between good and evil, but that doesn’t mean evil always wins. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

The result of the fall is conflict between husbands and wives. But that doesn’t mean conflict must characterize our marriages. Living a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led life can result in husbands and wives loving and respecting one another, portraying the glory of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5, Galatians 5).

The result of the fall is work that is difficult and laborious. But that doesn’t mean we have to let our jobs get us down. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve” (Colossians 3:23-24).

 

Our Problem

We have come to view all work as a curse. Work is not a curse. The difficult and laborious nature of work is the result of the fall but not work itself. We have also come to believe that the only work that matters to God is spiritual work—prayer, worship service, etc. Further, we’ve come to believe that the ultimate work that pleases God is full-time Christian service. Not so! The New Testament makes it clear that there is no clergy/laity distinction as there was in the Old Testament. “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9). We are all in full-time Christian service.

 

Your Work Matters to God

Your employment pleases God, if you lay hold of the pre-fall purpose of work and the post-redemption power of work to glorify God. God has placed you in your place of employment to represent the image of God, the second Adam, Jesus Christ who lives in you. What you do and how you do it can bring glory to the God who made you.

“Whatever you do.” This means exactly what it says. Whatever your job is, you can do it to the best of your ability because you are doing it in service to Christ.

I once worked as a helper to a highly skilled Finish Carpenter. Often, when we finished a task he would quip, “Good ‘nuff for who it’s for.” There was no lacking of quality in his work, but the phrase belies an attitude that we often have, that we will do work just good enough for who it’s immediately intended. “It’s good enough for the boss.” “It’s good enough for the company.” “It’s good enough for the customers.” “It’s good enough for the church.” “It’s good enough for the government.” The question then is this: “Who is it for?” The answer for us is that we work for Christ.

Whatever you do, whether you sell cars, sell real estate or sell muffins; whether you draw blood, draw plans or draw a commission; whether you turn a wrench, turn a profit or turn a phrase—do all to the Glory of God. “It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

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