Work is part of living in a fallen world, of that there is no doubt. When Adam and Eve sinned against God they were given punishments. Adam's was that through painful toil and the sweat of his brow he would produce the food that he and his family needed to live (Genesis 3:17-19). Unless a person is incapacitated, we all have some form of work to do, whether it be caring for our homes and families or working in paid employment to provide the necessities of life, or a combination of several types of work.
Satan makes much of our feelings towards work. Work makes many people unhappy and resentful about the necessity of performing it. It can seem monotonous and unfulfilling. We may feel unappreciated for what we do. It can be the source of many problems, often interpersonal ones.
Conversely, work can assume a god-like status. Some people put all their energy, time and resources into their working life, neglecting their spiritual and family lives. It can become the main source of their self-esteem. It can become an unending quest for increased money, status and power.
Jesus is our Redeemer, the One who has reclaimed our cursed lives by His death on the cross. Not only are we saved from death, but He has promised us a new life in Him. As He says in His word:
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly"(John 10:10).
In Christ we have the ability to change the way we view our working lives. Through our work we can invite Him to work with us and to guide us through His Holy Spirit. As such our work becomes part of our Christian ministry. We work to serve His kingdom purposes, whether it be providing funds for Christian ministry through our tithes and offerings or using our skills to assist others, or being a Christian voice in a secular workplace, or showing God's love to those who do not know Him, or a combination of many of these facets.
As I walked to my workplace this morning, I considered three "w" words which I like to use and pray for in relation to my working day:
Lord, may I do my work willingly - without grumbling, but glad that I am able to serve you and others and grateful for the provision of work.
May I do my work wisely - give me the knowledge and skills that I need Father to work effectively. Give me good judgement and discernment that anything I do will be done safely and will be beneficial for the clients that I am working with.
May I do my work well - to not just do the bare minimum but to work in such a manner that You are glorified Lord. May I be conscientious and diligent in every task I undertake. Equip me Lord to demonstrate Christian attitudes and values, that Your love will be seen through me in my workplace.