Wrong Views of Work

The work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

–Ecclesiastes 2:17

I’ve discovered that many Christians have a distorted view of work. Some have adopted the perspective that our jobs are where we find meaning and purpose in life. I call this the “work as our god” philosophy: our jobs define who we are, so we pour all our energy into our work. If you don’t believe people have bought into this idea, then think about the question we frequently ask our children: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” By that, we don’t mean a dedicated Christian or a faithful spouse–we mean what they’re going to do for a career.

Is work a worthy object of our worship? Solomon wrote, “The work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind. Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me” (Ecclesiastes 2:17–18). Solomon was saying it’s futile to spend your life working at something you will leave behind one day. We should not put our work on a pedestal.

Some Christians have embraced another extreme: the idea that work is a curse, a judgment passed down to us because of Adam’s sin. This idea comes from God’s judgment against Adam in Genesis 3:17–19: “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread, till you return to the ground.” It’s easy to think, If only Adam and Eve hadn’t messed up, then we could be sitting around eating bonbons all day. As a result, some Christians believe that every kind of work outside of evangelism and discipleship is a judgment from God.

A similar perspective is that our jobs are meaningless except as opportunities to share the gospel. Even if somebody has only five minutes to share the gospel during the week, then those five minutes make their job worthwhile–but the other thirty-nine hours and fifty-five minutes are meaningless. Now, let’s be clear: God does want us to be witnesses for Him and to take advantage of every opportunity to share the gospel. But is 99 percent of our working life really meaningless to God? No. The Bible says our work matters. It is part of God’s plan for our lives.

***

Today’s devotion is adapted from “Finding the Perfect Job” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

Share This:

The Fruits of Salvation

This week, we’re going to discover five principles that Abraham’s servant Eliezer exercised in finding the right mate for Abraham’s son Isaac. These principles can help you, your children, and your grandchildren not only to find a mate but also to know God’s will for any area of life.

How Secure Is Your Salvation?

This week, we’re going to discover five principles that Abraham’s servant Eliezer exercised in finding the right mate for Abraham’s son Isaac. These principles can help you, your children, and your grandchildren not only to find a mate but also to know God’s will for any area of life.
Search

Pathway To Victory
Po Box 223609
Dallas, TX 75222-3609