Work as Worship

Posted: April 8, 2013 in Genesis, Life, Load Bearing Truths
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I got an email request today from a business group out in California.  They’re interested in having a Christian speaker come and talk about…well, I’m not sure what, exactly, but I assume they want something like a motivational speech about Christian faith and principles in the marketplace.  Normally I would just politely decline because I’m not really a motivational speaker.  But as I was thinking about it, I realized that there really is something I would like to say to this group:  your work can be a kind of worship.

It all goes back to Genesis 1:28 where God said to the first humans, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”  That last term, translated as “subdue”, is interesting.  In the original Hebrew, the term is kabash and it has a wide variety of uses, from winning a wrestling match to defeating an opponent in war.  All of the uses have one thing in common:  working hard to accomplish something difficult…and worthwhile.  The point is that one of God’s first commandmants to human beings was to work hard to accomplish something worthwhile.  This was an integral part of the purpose for which we have been created and an essential element of acting as the Image of God (Ge. 1:26).  In other words, hard work is a way to glorify God.

Ironically, a lot of people think that the Bible teaches that hard work was a result of the Fall.  Wrong.  One of the consequences of the Fall was futile work – we plow and plant but get a meager crop choked by thorns and thistles (Gen 3:17) – but hard work was part of the plan even when all was right with the world.

And that makes sense, doesn’t it?  Hard work is rewarding, so long as futility doesn’t leave our effort a barren desert of hopelessness.  But hard work itself can be immensely satisfying.

And beyond that, hard work can be a spiritually invigorating experience, because it was originally intended to bring God great glory.  In other words, hard work is worship.

So worship hard today.  God is counting on you. (He doesn’t need your work…but He is counting on it!)

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