Work is a noble enterprise – and an essential part of the life of every Christian.
The Best Example
You likely know people who are good examples of hard work. But the best example of what it means to work hard is our Lord Jesus Himself.
He worked hard in a trade. He was a carpenter, a working man who earned His living, as others of his contemporaries, by manual labor. Justin Martyr, who lived shortly after the Apostle John’s death, wrote this:
“When Jesus was among men, He made plows and yokes and other farm implements.”
If it was not beneath the Son of God to work as a craftsman, then surely it is beneath none of His disciples. He has imparted to hard work both dignity and nobility.
Here are the right goals to keep in mind as you work:
Use the gifts God has given you to benefit others. If your job is not encouraging other people to sin, and I hope that isn’t true, then it is serving a beneficial purpose for other human beings. You need to see your job as part of God’s goodness – as part of His common grace – to His creatures to make their lives better and to serve as a reminder of His goodness.
Another legitimate goal of work is to care for your own needs – and well as your own enjoyment. Scripture says our earnings can be used for our enjoyment, because God has richly supplied us with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).
Work to provide for your dependents. Not only are we to use the gifts God has given us for the benefit of ourselves and others, but also to provide for our dependents as well – those who look to us, under our own household (1 Timothy 5:8).
Work to give to others in need. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:28 said that a Christian “must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.” You and I are to work hard to the point of exhaustion, so that we can share with those who lack what is necessary.
Our work also serves to advance Christ’s kingdom through the church. Scripture teaches us to use the resources we have here to advance His kingdom, because that’s an investment in eternity.
Ultimate Goal of Daily Work
Finally, the ultimate goal of your daily work is to promote God’s glory! Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve (Colossians 3:24).
Is Christ pleased with how you do your job? Wherever you work, do it to the glory of Christ.
Scripture calls you to walk in your Father’s footsteps by walking in love. If you want to be like your Father, love people by working hard not to take from them, but to give to them. Work hard to the point of exhaustion – not just for yourself or your family, but for the benefit of others.
Work so you can be generous with others, in the same way God has been generous with you.