Chasing the HustleThe word used for “work” also means “to serve.” This word is used throughout the Old Testament to talk about our relationship with God.
Most of us love to relax. We daydream about summer vacation and being able to lounge around all day. People make big dreams about retirement. There is even an old saying, “everybody’s working for the weekend,” which suggests that the only reason to work is to make money in order to enjoy the times you don’t have to work.
In fact, for a culture that stresses the importance of work, we really don’t seem to like it that much. Many people view work as a “necessary evil” and are biding their time until they no longer need to work. We work not because of the work itself, but because of what it can give us.
There are even some who suggest that work is a result of the fall. In the book of Genesis, Adam was commanded by God not to eat fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And yet, he ate of the fruit and was disobedient to God. According to Genesis 3:17-19, after Adam eat the fruit, there is a curse put upon the land so that growing food will not be easy and will take a lot of effort. In verse 23, Adam is banished from the Garden of Eden in order to “work” the ground.
“See!” some may say, “Work is a result of the Fall and sin!” But if we look closely at the curse on the ground in verses 17-19, work itself is never cursed. In fact, one of the first things we know about God is that he is a worker. He spends six days working to create all things.
Also, if we look at Genesis 2:15, we see that man was put in the Garden in order to “work it and take care of it.” God commanded humanity to work before the fall and the presence of sin in the world. This suggests that work is a vital, and even holy, thing for the people of God. Work is not a negative effect of sin but is rather part of the reason why humanity was created. We were created to work!
However, we need to make sure that we do not define work in the same way that the world defines work. Many have been trapped by the vicious cycle of overwork and burnout. God rested on the seventh day and Jesus repeatedly rested from His work.
The word used for “work” also means “to serve.” This word is used throughout the Old Testament to talk about our relationship with God. We are to “serve” God which is actually our work. Work and worship are intrinsically tied together.
In fact, the New Testament writers understand this when they say, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23, NIV). For Christians, however, the focus is not on the work itself or the result of the work, but is refocused on the God whom we are serving.
Work is not something that we should fear or run from. Throughout his missionary journeys, the Apostle Paul worked as a tentmaker. Simon Peter was a fisherman. Even Jesus Himself was a trained carpenter. Our faithful work gives glory to the divine Worker.
- July 1: Genesis 3
- July 2: Mark 6:1-6
- July 3: Genesis 2:4-17
- July 4: Colossians 3:22-25
- July 5: Acts 18:1-4
- July 6: Genesis 1
- July 7: Galatians 6:1-10
- July 8: Proverbs 16:3
- July 9: Ephesians 4:25-32
- July 10: Matthew 4:18-22
- July 11: Ecclesiastes 9:7-10
- July 12: John 6:25-40
- July 13: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
- July 14: 2 Samuel 24:18-25
- July 15: Exodus 20:8-11
- July 16: 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
- July 17: Psalm 90:13-17
- July 18: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
- July 19: 1 Corinthians 16:13-18
- July 20: Nehemiah 4:1-6
- July 21: Matthew 9:35-38
- July 22: 1 Timothy 5:3-8
- July 23: Matthew 20:1-16
- July 24: 1 Chronicles 22:2-16
- July 25: 1 Corinthians 3:1-9
- July 26: Proverbs 18:9
- July 27: 2 Corinthians 6:1-2
- July 28: Exodus 36:1-7
- July 29: James 2:14-26
- July 30: 1 Corinthians 10:23-33
- July 31: Mark 10:42-45