Man was meant to work! The first man, Adam, was not simply placed in a utopian garden with nothing to do. He was immediately given a job, (Gen. 2:15). The Scriptures often extol the virtues of productive labor and hard work. “There is nothing better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and make his soul enjoy good in his labor. This also I saw, that it is from the hand of God,” (Eccl. 2:24; cf. Prov. 6:6-8; 12:11, 24; 13:4; Col. 3:23; 1 Thess. 4:11-12; 2 Tim. 2:6; etc.). And of course, the Bible says that anyone who will not work to provide for his own has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever, (1 Tim. 5:8). So important is this work ethic to God that Paul by inspiration commanded the brethren in Thessalonica that if any would not work, “neither let him eat,” (2 Thess. 3:10-12).
If you are a hard, ethical worker, God bless you! It is not easy in today’s culture. There are so many incentives not to work, it is ridiculous. Between the virus, supply chain interruptions, and outright governmental disincentives, it is truly amazing that we have anyone left in the workforce. But one group of people who continue to work hard, are Christians. Because that’s the way God designed us, and that’s what is best for us, and Christians know it. But if you are struggling just a bit with your work, or rather with the motivation to keep working hard in this situation, possibly the following suggestions will be of assistance:
1. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. The forces of Socialism and Marxism are alive and well in our nation. These failed philosophies do well when the population becomes convinced that individual labor and productivity does not matter. People come to believe that the government is going to take care of them, and of everything else. The government – not God – is the solution to every problem! Rather than relying upon God and the precepts of his word, including those regarding individualism and hard work, people become convinced that they should rely upon the government. Productivity then decreases, and individual satisfaction evaporates. Living in such economies is a drudgery which continues until the system finally implodes. Don’t fall for the lie! Hard work still matters!
2. Don’t let the negativity get to you. We are living through an extremely divisive and negative period of American history. Nearly everyone has a complaint about the economy, the government, the virus, immigration, and practically everything else. Tragically, many of these complaints are valid, but dwelling on them can only bring you misery and discontent. Don’t let what’s wrong blind you to what’s right. We are still privileged to live in the greatest country on earth. As Christians, we have the benefit of untold spiritual blessings, of which the world can only dream. Remember to count your blessings and keep your daily routine framed in a positive mindset. Look on the bright side, or, to paraphrase the words of the apostle Paul, “bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things!” Don’t let the negativity get to you.
3. Be careful about listening too much to your co-workers. Paul said, “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your hands, even as we charged you; that ye may walk becomingly toward them that are without, and may have need of nothing,” (1 Thess. 4:11-12). “Study to be quiet” means mind your own business. Quiet, individual, hard work is a valuable virtue, and difficult to practice. It is easy to get caught up in all of the latest gossip, and patronizing of the rumor mill. These rumors will continue fine without your help. Focus on the task at hand, and do it with a smile on your face and an a cappella song in your heart!
4. Stay prayerfully focused on Jesus. Throughout your day, don’t forget to pray. Make your workplace a house of prayer. Pray silently, consistently and often. If you can find moments of solitude to meditate upon scripture and maybe memorize a few verses, this will pay rich dividends. Remember that the Lord is watching you and his walking with you through this workplace. Remember the virtue of good, honest work, and keep your business ethical and above-board. It’s tough to maintain a good work ethic, even in the best of circumstances. But, especially now, we need to do all we can to “work heartily as unto the Lord,” (Col. 3:23). And remember, “your labor is not in vain in the Lord,” (1 Cor. 15:58)!
-by Robert C. Veil, Jr.