Labor Not In Vain

Houston Delight Girls-Johanna Schnakenberg-9 copy

Monday is the most despised day of all time. It’s practically a four-letter word, isn’t it? Monday means the weekend is over, and that of course means we must get back to work. And oh, how we hate work.

I’ve been a barista for the past few months, and every morning I get person after person dragging into the shop, ordering their coffee, then forcing themselves to work. As much as I get it (who enjoys being up at five in the morning?), it often makes me sad that so many people seem to dread their every day.

I realize we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes we don’t always get to make money doing what we love. But why do we hate work as a whole? Why do we resent being industrious? Where did we get the idea that work is a punishment? Surely spending every work day in misery can’t be what God intends for us.

So what does God think of work? Well, in the Bible the first glimpse we get of God shows Him busy at work! For six days, He is creating the earth, putting things in place, setting the world in motion according to His perfect plan. And after creating man, God gives His new creation a job to do. So contrary to popular belief, work was not a result of the fall. It came before! When God placed Adam in the garden, He gave him tasks, a purpose to fulfill, because that is what God Himself was doing. His desire was for man to work on the earth alongside His divine work.

God has stamped His image on all of creation, and that includes work. Work is not a punishment; it is a gift! A gift that reflects the very nature of God, what we are to imitate as Christians. Only after sin entered the world did work become hard and a burden. We began to resent it, neglecting God’s original plan for us and the industrious mindset with which we were created.

I get it, work can be hard and boring and stressful. But if work is part of the nature of God, and we are to imitate that nature, it is time to change our perspective! God wants us to be creative and industrious and excellent in our work, because that is within His nature, and He does not expect us to be anything He is not.

I’m not saying all work will consist of sparkles and rainbows and all happy things. You might be thinking, “I sit in an office all day. How is that using my talents and creativity?” Our work isn’t just limited to how we make money, but whatever it is God is asking of us, whatever purpose He’s given us to fulfill. And if that purpose includes working in an office, then we should be giving it our all.

How we fulfill our earthly work showcases God’s divine work. If we go about our work half-heartedly and cutting corners, we are not reflecting well upon our Creator. We should arise each day with eagerness, ready to be industrious and hardworking in whatever tasks He has entrusted us with. We are to pour our heart into doing our jobs well, being an encouragement to those we interact with, and using our talents for the glory of God. Christians should have a reputation to the world as people who work exceedingly well, because that is how our God performs His work.

I once read somewhere (let’s be honest, it was probably on Pinterest), “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.” Any job – whether it’s running a company, sweeping up hair clippings at a salon, mowing a yard, or baking a cake – can be done with excellence or not. And when we autograph our work with excellence, it points to the excellent Creator who gave us the gift of work in the first place!

God is always at work, and so should we be. We were created to create! No matter where we are or what we’re doing, we should be all there, throwing our heart and soul into whatever tasks God has given to us, letting the quality and attitude of our labor point the world to His eternal work.

About Payton Wilson

Payton Wilson is a twenty-two-year-old portrait photographer from Oklahoma who thrives on adventure and good coffee. As a lover of beauty and trying new things, she is currently pursuing a lifestyle of creativity and travel while challenging herself and others to live fully surrendered to Christ.
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