Wednesday, March 7, 2007

A Christian view of Work 1: Work is Good because God works

It is all too easy as a college student to adopt worldly lies about work. I'm going to outline some wrong views of work over the next few days, and provide a biblical view of our work instead.

A good book to read on this if you are interested is Mark Greene, Thank God It's Monday

Lie Number 1: Work is best avoided.

There are several reasons that we shall explore as to why work is good rather than to be avoided. first and foremost of these is this:

Work is good because God works.

Is work something to be avoided? Maybe you think I must have this attitude if I’m on the pastoral staff of a church. Many people think that a pastor has never done an honest day’s work in his life. The old saying goes that pastors are six days invisible and one day incomprehensible.
Actually, the longest secular job I’ve held down was as a newspaper delivery boy. I did that for about two years! So, since I stopped my paper-route at the age of sixteen, have I done rather well at avoiding work so that I could do what I enjoy doing?

We might be tempted to see work as a necessary evil that intrudes upon life, as if “real” life is what we do when we’re not working. Similarly, we might view work as that which enables us to really enjoy life. Such thinking tends to treat work and enjoyment as mutually exclusive categories with little relationship to one another in every day life.

According to the Bible, is work merely a necessary evil associated with living in a fallen world? Is work God’s curse to human beings who have rebelled against him?

Work comes not from the fall, but from creation. The first worker in the Bible isn’t Adam once he’s banished from Eden. It’s not even Adam before he is banished from Eden. The first worker is God himself. God is portrayed in Genesis 1 as the ultimate worker, who enjoys ultimate job satisfaction.
Therefore, work isn’t a curse to be avoided; it is a blessing to be enjoyed.

God is a God who works. His work brings order out of chaos.
The world begins formless and empty. For three days God forms. For three days he fills. By the end of day six, he has brought great order out of chaos: “The heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array” (Genesis 2:1). Whose work was it? “And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done” (Genesis 2:3). It was God’s work. This tells us something about who God is. He is a God of order, a creative God.Even though God rests on day seven, he doesn’t cease working altogether. Far from it.

If God doesn’t work, the universe ceases to exist. “Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working’” (John 5:17).

We have a God who is always at His good work. therefore work cannot be intrinsically a bad thing. We should not therefore seek to avoid it, but embrace it.

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