God’s Word conveys that work is a moral good; it is honorable. In the very beginning, God put man in the garden to work.
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it [labor and serve in it] and to keep [protect and preserve] it.
God could have made every plant and tree and herb to be self-sustaining, without any care from man, but He didn’t. He put Adam in the garden of Eden and said, “Go to work. Keep busy caring for this garden and keeping it producing.” God planned for mankind to work. Being able to work is a wonderful joy and privilege and one of man’s needs.
As born-again believers, we want to be the epitome of those with a strong work ethic. By definition, “work ethic” is a belief in work as a moral good. It is a belief in the ability of work to enhance character.
In Colossians 3, we find a wonderful exhortation on how to work:
And whatsoever ye do, do [work] 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.
All good work is honorable, so we put our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength into our work. God instructs us that whatever we do, we are to do it heartily. We are to do it with all our might:
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
“Might” here is strength and vigor. The word “do” used in this verse means to work or labor. Whatever good work we find to do, we are to work with might, giving our all physically and mentally in our labors.
Whether we work for a fellow Christian or for a secular employer, we do our jobs well and give our all because we know ultimately we work for God and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. The essence of our work ethic is service, not primarily financial gain. Believers in the true God with a strong work ethic have much to offer their employers.
Consider Joseph in the Old Testament. He was a believer taken captive to a pagan nation, Egypt. He eventually ended up working for a pagan employer, the king of Egypt. But that did not keep him from giving an honest day’s work with his full heart. By his strong work ethic, service, and stand for God, he saved Egypt (and the children of Israel) from a terrible famine and brought the wealth of the world pouring into Egypt for his employer (Genesis 37—41).
While we work for an employer, we want to help achieve the goals of their business, company, or service organization by our faithful, hearty labor.
Let’s consider just a few of the ways we can serve an employer that will help contribute to their overall benefit.
...Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Whether on-site or at home, we live honestly. We respect and carry out company policies and procedures. As laborers, we handle our personal business on personal time. And our conversations and our behavior reflect the Word we have in our hearts.
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing [respecting] God.
Our work ethic is to give our all out of respect for God, knowing that all good work is honorable. As employees, we follow the instructions given and use wisdom to carry out that work we were asked to do. We endeavor to do a task or job exactly as asked, and then we can even do more, as appropriate. We do our work with consideration for our employer and his goals.
BE FAITHFUL AND TRUSTWORTHY
I Corinthians 4:2:
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
A steward is one who manages the affairs of another, such as property, finances, assets. Good stewards are faithful, reliable, trustworthy, dutiful, and loyal. They say what they mean and mean what they say. As employees, we want to be depended upon to habitually arrive every day at the time appointed, to carry out our appointed tasks without being reminded, to consistently report back when a job is completed. Being conscientious in our service yields blessings to ourselves and our employers.
HAVE A GOOD ATTITUDE
And, of course, it’s always a plus to have employees who have a good attitude. We can be joyful, kind, thoughtful, positive, cheerful, and willing to be accountable for our actions.
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
The intrinsic work ethic of a Christian employee is to operate honestly to serve and promote the welfare of his employer rather than to promote his own profit. God’s Word encourages us to labor heartily as unto the Lord and to bless and help people because of our respect for Him. God then brings prosperity and success to our lives.
We can help make a positive change in the world by working heartily as believing employees. The Word can prevail in our workplaces as we practically apply the truth of God’s Word in our strong work ethic.Return to top