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Six Misconceptions About the Meaning of Work

Work is a major part of our lives, but it’s also largely misunderstood. Take these common misconceptions, for example:

1. Work is a curse
People often think work is a consequence of the Fall, but God actually places humans in the Garden pre-Fall to “work it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). So, it was always part of the plan, not a necessary evil. It was built into our “DNA” from the beginning. Work is intrinsic to our nature.

2. Work has no eternal significance
The biblical vision for the new heavens and new earth describes a bustling material world that has real continuity with our current world. Here our work will be fulfilled and completed with God’s final victory over sin.

3. I have to hustle to achieve success
In Genesis 2 we see a God who rests, a practice he commands us to imitate. Without deep rest, we burn out. God offers us refreshment as we learn to trust in him for his provision instead of the work of our own hands.

4. My work should define and fulfill me
Work was meant to be the expression of our identity, not its source. True value, identity, and security comes through Christ. When we expect those things from work, we place a weight upon it that it was never meant to carry.

5. My work has no purpose
Creation is an ongoing work. God has given us the materials and capacity to imitate his creative patterns and bring flourishing to the world. So whether you’re making films, or sweeping streets, you are reflecting and displaying God’s very nature.

6. God is not present in my work
We tend to fail to see God at work in the world around us, particularly in our workplaces. But God is renewing all of creation, and the Spirit is present and active in the world, bringing change and renewal even to your industry and workplace.

Posted: Mar 2021