Despite what we may sometimes think ‘Work’ is not a dirty word! The Bible tells us that when God first created man He placed him in the Garden of Eden to ‘tend and keep it’. To be sure, when sin reared its ugly head all of life, work not least, became more difficult. Working in a fallen world meant labouring by the ‘sweat of your brow’ in an ongoing fight with creation as the ground produced ‘thorns and thistles’. Nevertheless, work is a divine calling and one of the ways we reflect God as people made in his image. Indeed, the 4th commandment draws a parallel between God’s almighty work of creation and our work week-
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.”
God’s pattern that we are called to emulate is an industrious week followed by a good rest. To be sure, unemployment is a tragic reality, nevertheless there is no excuse for idleness with many worthy causes crying out for help in the voluntary sector. Moreover, it might also be said that for believers living in the midst of an unbelieving world there is ample work to be getting on with- no unemployment in God’s Kingdom!
One day we will all give an accounting to God for how we have used the most precious of all commodities- time. I can think of few things worse than for the Lord to say to us, as He said to the workers in one of his parables, ‘why have you been standing idle all the day?’ (Matthew 20.6).