Since we have been talking about the importance of giving and storing up our treasures in Heaven, I thought it would also be important to discuss the purpose of work.
Most Americans work. Some people work because they have to, while others enjoy their jobs. Some people wrap their identity in the value of their work. Their work validates them and makes them feel important. Many like having the paycheck from their work so that they can pay necessary bills while others use their income to “keep up with the Jones.” There is no doubt about it; working is an important and valuable part of our society. Many adults spend the majority of their time at work, so let’s take a quick look at what the Bible says about working.
1. Work keeps us productive and allows us to meet physical needs. (2 Thess 3:6-13)
In this scripture the Apostle Paul makes it clear that working and being productive is the right thing to do. Christians should not be idle, meaning that they should not waste their time.
We should be able and willing to work so that we can pay for the resources that are needed (ex. food, clothing, shelter, water, etc). In this way, we will not burden others.
The driving rule is presented in verse 10:”If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
2. Work as a means of revealing your faith to others. (James 2:18, 22,24)
Our faith in Jesus is a free gift from God and offers an assurance of our salvation. We cannot work or earn our way into Heaven. The Treasure Principle is not about getting brownie points with God! On the contrary, when we work out of thanksgiving of the grace that we have received, our faith is fully realized by others. Who knows whether our work or our behavior in the work place will draw a co-worker closer to God?
3. Work allows us to share the love of Christ and give to those in need. (1 John 3:16-18)
Christ showed his love for us by sacrificially giving up his life. We, too, are called to lay down our lives for others. Our love should be evident in our actions as a result of the truth found in the Bible. We are called to love God and love others (Mark 12:30-31).
Verse 17 gives us a question to contemplate: “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him (meaning the one who has no pity)?”
The big picture is that the Bible does not state that working is simply for our personal pleasure or to give us more of what we want. As a matter of fact, it clearly speaks against that belief, which is contrary to our cultural beliefs. If we want to approach our jobs, money, and responsibilities from a Biblical prospective, we have to intentionally work against the culture that tells us to please ourselves with the fruits of our labor. The Bible says that we should glorify (honor, praise, give thanks) God with our “work” and with the results of our work.
What is your prospective of work? Has it changed since reviewing TTP?
© Natasha L. Robinson 2011
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