Why We Work
A Brief Summary of the Theology of Work
God Works: The Bible opens with God working. Genesis 2 calls his creating activity in Chapter 1 “work.” No less than three times! Later, the Bible speaks many times of God’s “works.” For example, “his works are perfect” (Deut. 32:4). God is called a potter, a shepherd, a musical composer, an architect, a builder, a judge, a ruler, and so on. Jesus said both he and his Father are workers.
We Work Because God Does: God himself is the pattern for who we are and what we do. Made in his image, his likeness, we are similar to him. We cannot, of course, create from scratch, know everything, or be present everywhere all at once. But working is a major way we can show our God-likeness.
After he finished his work of creating earth, sky, land, oceans, plants, animals, and people, he stopped to savor and enjoy it, calling it all, “very good” (Gen. 11).
We Rest Because God Does: Just as we work because God works, we rest because God rests. So God is not a workaholic, and—made in his likeness—neither should we overwork. He set up the sabbath for our well-being. So we need to put into practice a rhythm that includes both working and resting.
We Rule the Earth for God: When God the Worker made us in his image, he gave us a role—to rule the earth and its creatures. Ruling God’s earth does not mean acting like greedy, self-serving bullies or tyrants. No, ruling means using our God-delegated authority for the benefit of the earth. We’re to rule the earth in the way shepherds are to caringly rule their sheep. Good shepherds use the right of say-so given by flock owners to protect the animals from hunger, thirst, disease, and wolves. God loves the earth and its creatures and declared them to be “very good.” We are given authority to look out for the earth on his behalf. We are God’s stewards, property managers of his earthly real estate.
God commands us to work: “Six days you shall labor” (Ex. 20:9), and “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat’ (II Thess. 3:10).
So our calling includes God’s call to work. He does not call only pastors and missionaries to their work but he also calls you and I to ours.
Blessing Begins When Sending Occurs:
Where is the church in all of this?