Thursday, October 22, 2015
A Theology of Work
In 1981 the band Loverboy released the song “Working for the Weekend.” The idea of the song was that we work 5 days a week, so that we can really live each weekend. According to this point of view, work is a means to an end and that end is a good time. Is that really the purpose of work? Is it a necessary evil that we all must endure to have the things we need and want?
Scripture says No! Work is divine gift to humanity through which God is glorified. Exodus 20, verse 11 states that for 6 days you shall labor. God Himself modeled this for us in creation. The universe was created by Him, from nothing, in 6 days. Therefore, God is a worker and we ought to work as God does. Jesus often remarked to His disciples that He came to do his Father’s work. In John 5:17 He told the religious leaders of His day that “My Father is always at work to this very day, and I too am working.” Christ came to defeat sin, death and Hell through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. His work was the redemption of humanity.
What does this mean for us? That work can and should be God-centered and Gospel motivated. We work for far more than a paycheck or the pleasures it can provide. We work for the glory of God. We avoid the sin of laziness and idleness that Christ might be most honored by our lives. Work gives us a way to provide for our family and others, just as Christ’s work provided a way that our greatest need might be met. There are no small tasks. No meaningless occupations from the Scripture’s viewpoint.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said it well . . .
“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
Let’s continue to do our jobs well to the glory of almighty God!