And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
- Genesis 3:17-19
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
- I Corinthians 10:31
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.
- Colossians 3:22-23
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with Him.
- Ephesians 6:5-9
Work is a blessing. Scripture teaches us that:
God is not idle - He works
The angels are not idle - they work
Man is not to be idle - he is to work
Man worked in Paradise on earth (Genesis 2:15); man is to work after his fall (Genesis 3:17-19); man will work in Paradise in heaven (Revelation 22:3). Due to sin's curse, however, fallen man will experience thorns, thistles, sweat, hardships, and problems in work, but work itself is an institution and blessing of God.
Based on Scripture, our Reformed and Puritan forefathers taught the following four principles regarding work:
1. All honorable work is sacred. All of life is religious and holy, also a person's work, because all is done in the presence of God. The importance this gives to a person's work is illustrated by the following example.
Martin was stunned. He had just been informed that the president (prime minister) of his country would be visiting the assembly plant where he was employed and that this important leader would stop to observe his welding operations.
On the morning of the visit, Martin had everything cleaned and prepared. As the president (prime minister) and his aides observed his work, Martin concentrated on welding as neat, precise, and even a bead as possible.
If a person is conscious that the King of kings and Lord of lords is present and observing him at his work at the office, plant, construction site, or farm, why would this add an extra sense of importance to his work, an added incentive to do his best?