Christian Work Ethic. Colossians 3:23-25 says, “And whosoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he heath done and there is no respect of persons.” In essence, this is the Christian work ethic. We are commanded to put forth our best efforts, to work from our heart and soul at whatever we do. We are accountable to God and stewards of the gifts He has given us. Our work flows out of our gratefulness to Him.
God instituted work with creation, prior to the Fall. Genesis 2:15 says, “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” After Adam and Eve sinned, work became toil. But work itself is included in the “very good” part of creation Genesis 1:31 “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
Throughout the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites specific instructions about how to do their work. He also gave instructions about providing for those who had less: Leviticus 23:22 “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy field when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the Lord your God.” This command confirms the importance of work. God does not tell the people to harvest everything and then simply give food to the poor. Instead, He tells them to leave enough of the grain to allow the poor to work for themselves. Work has a way of giving us a sense of purpose, productivity, and dignity.
Christians should work hard. Work is integral of life, and approaching work as God-given will give us more pleasure in it. We can work cheerfully and without complaint because we are working for the Lord who loves us and has redeemed us. A good work ethic can also be a witness to others Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The world takes notice of our efforts and wonders why we do what we do.
It is important to note that the Bible does not condone workaholism. We do not work merely to amass worldly wealth. We work to bring glory to God. We also do not work ourselves into the ground or to the extent that our health is damaged or our families suffer.
God is more interested in our relationship with us than He is in what we do. God instituted the Sabbath at the beginning of creation. He did the work of creation for six days and then ceased. God is omnipotent; He did not need to rest; He was setting an example for us. God confirmed both the importance of work and rest. Exodus 20:9-10 “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all they work but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God in it thou shalt not do any work, thou; nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”
We are called to have a strong work ethic and to work hard at all that we do and we are also called to take times of rest. It is a gift that we should all be wise to accept.