What is work?

Each of us have grown up in a culture that has it's own stories which speak of the value or the burden of work.

Instructions: Below are five statements about work. Circle one or more that might be said by you or someone from your culture:

" I love to work!"
" I don't like to work but it pays the bills"
" Work first, play later"
" I wish I had enough money, then I wouldn't need to work any more!"
" Work is a necessary evil"
" Work is good for me"
" Work is a curse"

Questions to answer:

  1. What are your own opinions regarding work?
  2. In your opinion, what is God's attitude toward work?
  3. Read Genesis 2: 1-3
  4. What do these verses tell us about God and work?
  5. Does this passage confirm or conflict with your previous answers?
  6. Why did God place man in the Garden of Eden? (Gen. 2:15) NOTE: This is the intention of God for man even before the Fall.
  7. What does the wisdom literature tell us about diligence and laziness? (Proverbs 6:6-11; 10:4+5; 12:24; 13:4; 14:23; 20:4)
  8. What attitude do Paul and his associates have toward work? (1 Cor. 4:12; 9:6 and 2 Thes. 3:10?

Other thoughts to study and meditate on:

  • In the Bible God's mighty acts are called "works".
  • Creation (see Psalms 8:3+6; 19:1; 102:25),
  • His redemptive acts in history like the Exodus (see Judges 2:7+10),
  • His wrath (see Isaiah 28:21).
  • Jesus' "work" was to accomplish redemption for man on the Cross (see John 4:34; 5:36; 9:4; 10:38; 15:24; 17:4).

Final Questions:

What do you think that Charles Spurgeon meant by the following statement: "We are all immortal till our work is done."

And what does Martin Luther mean by saying: "Our whole life should be nothing but praise to God. Even if the Lord would return tomorrow, I would still plant a sapling today."