Saturday, October 2, 2010

What does work mean to you?

Work consumes the majority of life, and I'm amazed how often it's mentioned in the Bible.

When I think of labor, I always remember my mother quoting a few choice verses such 2 Thessalonians 3:9-11, "He that doesn't work shouldn't eat" and the one that says something about "Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might."

Mom might have mentioned this one, too: "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands" (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12)

Here's a verse that lays it on even thicker than Mom did: "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need (Ephesians 4:27-29).

But in looking through just a small section of Bible I discovered much more about work. The Bible talks about "a laborer being worthy of his hire" and another that says "When a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation" (Romans 4:3-5).

1 Corinthians 9 is an interesting chapter that talks about the laborer being allowed to partake of the fruit of his labor. It appears the Apostle Paul is into equal justice where those who work get their paychecks and give to charity willingly; instead of social justice where wealth is taken from those who have and given to those who have not.

Yet, I notice the majority of the verses that came up under "Work" in Bible Gateway teach us that it's not by "works" of righteousness that we have done, but by His mercy Jesus saved us. Yet, He points out we need to work to build the Kingdom, preaching the gospel so that others may have eternal life.

Work seems as vital to us as the sun is to life. Perhaps we should remember the warning, "Work for the night is coming" (John 9:3-5).