Work's Bad Rap

by Tim Hall


Why do so many want to never have to work?

Symptoms abound that show Americans don’t like their work. Each week thousands exclaim “It’s Friday!” In those two words is the promise of time away from the salt mine. During the week employees discuss dreams of retirement and how to speed up the process. Retirement, of course, means never having to go to work again.

Then there are those who play the lotteries. No one likes paying taxes, but many gladly pay a few bucks to their state government as they try to woo Lady Luck.

An article on, however, states the case bluntly: “Don’t waste your money.” A typical state lottery, says the article, has odds of winning at 1 in 18 million. A person is six times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike, and three times more likely to die in a car crash on the way to purchase that ticket. /1 Such facts, however, don’t seem to dim the pursuit of a financial windfall.

People go to great lengths to never have to work again. Wouldn’t life be simpler if we could make peace with our jobs?

Paul believed that a new view of work is possible. He said this to Christians at Ephesus:

“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men” (Ephesians 6:5-7, NKJV).

Those in free societies have difficulty imagining a more difficult existence than being a slave. Talk about a bad job! At no time are you off the clock, and you can never call in sick. Yet slaves were urged to change their views of their work. Instead of focusing on the harsh master, look to the benevolent Lord to whom we willingly bound ourselves. See work as an opportunity to do service “to the Lord, and not to men.”

Paul’s exhortation to servants in Titus 2:10 adds one more dimension to this new view of work: “… that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” The way we go about our daily employment displays our view of God. A Christian has the opportunity on the job to show the good difference God can make. Our faith is not just for Sunday mornings; it shapes the attitudes we bring to the workplace.

Let us no longer view our jobs as a ball and chain that keeps us from enjoying life. It’s a new mission we’ve received. Through our work we can show the devotion we have to the Lord who will one day lead us to eternal rest (Revelation 14:13).


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