After over 65 years of ministry, we have developed the top 27 questions people ask us so we would like to share these questions each week for our weekly blog and share the answers as a resource for you all to use in your ministry, churches, and family.
Top ? #18 What Does the Bible Say about Work?
Answer: Christians are to be responsible and work to provide the daily needs for themselves and their families.
At the time of creation, God gave Adam the responsibility to care for the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). This indicates that productive work was part of God’s original plan for mankind. However, as a result of sin’s entrance into the world, labor became toilsome rather than a joy (Genesis 3:17-19). Nonetheless, honest labor is still viewed as an honorable and worthwhile activity.
The book of Proverbs gives much useful advice about work.
Proverbs 21:25 The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.
Proverbs 18:9 One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys.
Proverbs 24:30-34 I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.
The Lord Jesus Christ was a carpenter and thus demonstrated the value of honest and productive labor.
The Apostle Paul gives us the most complete teaching on the importance of work. He himself was a tentmaker and he used that trade to support his missionary ministry. He encouraged others to follow his example. He instructed all Christians to work with their own hands to provide for their needs and to give to the poor that were unable to work.
“In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to follow. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”
We hear that some among you are idle. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat. And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. ” – 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13
Paul exhorts all believers to do all things for the Lord. Therefore, we should view work as an act of worship to God. Honest labor, no matter how lowly in the world’s eyes, is honorable and brings glory to God. If we have been given the strength and ability to support ourselves we should do so with joy and enthusiasm.
Please read the following verses: Ephesians 4:28; Colossians 3:17; James 5:4-5; 1 Timothy 5:8
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