No doubt about it; the bible is definitely pro-work.

The bible has a lot to say about work from a practical perspective. First Timothy 5:8 says “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Clearly the command to provide for our families is tied to our faith and working in itself has value regardless of the task. Proverbs 14: 23 says, “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.” So, “talk is cheap” really is supported by the bible.

The bible also says there is a larger purpose in our work though. According to Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” So punching the clock and collecting a paycheck isn’t what we were “made” to do but may be what we make ourselves do for a higher purpose. While that can be tough some days the bible says there is a reward. Proverbs 13:4 says “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.” We’re also encouraged by Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” There are a lot of days where we need support, but what of our need to feel that we are fulfilling our purpose?

Proverbs 16:3 says, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” And Jeremiah 29:11 assures, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” So there is an honor and a purpose and a meaning to our work, no matter what it may be and even if its daily tasks don’t excite and titillate us. It’s this perspective and philosophy that we must carve out for ourselves.

I imagine even Edison and Da Vinci had days where they drug themselves to the workshop or lab and wondered, “Why am I here? I never seem to make any progress and who cares about my work anyway?” Yet their work did matter. And while you and I may not be inventing the lightbulb or the precursor to the helicopter our work can and does have a place in history perhaps not because of what we do but by the example we set or the way it contributes to someone else’s success or life.

That’s big enough for me and I hope, big enough for you.

How do you resolve what you do? I hope you’ve gotten to a place where you’re comfortable with your work but if you’re still on that path I hope this helped. If you know someone who is trying to figure this out, please share this with them if you think it would be useful.

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