What Does the Bible Say About Work?

The Bible honors work, and we are to be gratified in our work.  We tend to view work in a negative light sometimes, and there is a negative aspect to it, which started after Adam's fall into sin. Genesis 3:17 says, "To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,' Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.'"

Although God always intended for Adam to work, this is telling us that work became somewhat of an ugly thing, because of man's ugly sin. Without sin, man would have worked, but it would have always been gratifying, such as gardening without having to fight weeds.  However, with sin, our efforts are much less productive, and we have to work harder, such as gardening while fighting weeds, bugs, dry weather, etc.

2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, "For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: 'If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'"  God intends for us to earn our keep (in an earthly, temporal sense--not a spiritual sense).

1 Thessalonians 4:11 says, "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you." God intends for us to receive gratification through the work of our hands.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 says, "Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other." God honors work, and we should too.

Owen Weber 2009