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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Do You Whistle While You Work?


Do you like what you do? Do you enjoy your work? I hope so because you probably spend a sizable sum of your time at your labors. The Bible teaches that we need to invest heartily in our work and do it with a healthy degree of zest and enthusiasm.

Today I read in Ecclesiastes 9:10, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might..." But that's certainly not all God's Word has to say about our daily toils. In fact, the Bible speaks positively and authoritatively about our work from Genesis to Revelation. For instance, did you know that God assigned Adam and Eve work to do even before sin entered the world and the consequences of that sin were spelled out by God. Many people assume work is a curse we endure because of Adam's sin, but actually work was given to man by God as a sort of blessing.

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, 
according to Our likeness; 
and let them rule over the fish of the sea and 
over the birds of the sky and 
over the cattle and over all the earth, 
and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."

And God created man in His own image, 
in the image of God He created him; 
male and female He created them.

And  God blessed them; 
and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, 
and fill the earth, and subdue it; 
and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, 
and over every living thing that moves on the earth."
(Genesis 1:26-28)

Then the Lord God took the man and put him 
into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
(Genesis 2:15)

Not only did God begin time as we know it by working and then resting from His work, but He even gave man a garden to work and cultivate right after He breathed life into his body. Work has always been a part of God's plan for mankind. And it looks like we'll be working in heaven for eternity!

Now the frustrations and sweat and hardships that accompany work did indeed come as a result of man's sin. Hopefully some of that will be alleviated from our job descriptions before we take up our tasks in heaven. But from the beginning of time we were meant to find reward in our work. 

God has attached dignity, purpose, significance and even beauty to our work. When we work in conjunction to His greater purposes of redemption and salvation, seeing our work as an extension of His work in this world, then we will indeed work with enthusiasm and joy. 

So how do you view your work? Is it just that thing you do to pay the bills? Is it the labor which affords you the privileges of playing on the weekend? Is it something you're stuck with because no one else will do it? Is it a dead end street, a curse? You might want to check your attitude with God if any of these describe your feelings about your work. Ask Him to help you see your job from His perspective and ask Him what in the world He has you doing there? You may be surprised to find that your job has greater significance in the big picture than you first thought.

Whether you're a stay-at-home mom picking up toys and changing diapers, a teacher trying to get through the red tape so you can actually teach something today, a nurse changing bed pans and IV drips, or an office worker trying to get to the bottom of that perpetual pile on your desk, God can give your work increased significance and beauty today. Ask Him to. Let Him breathe new life into your job. Climb up in your Father's lap and look at your duties, your workplace, your co-workers, and your opportunities from His perspective. And my bet is that when you step down and get back to work, there will indeed be a new sense of purpose and dignity in your job. Who knows? You might even whistle while you work!

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