What does the Bible say about work?

What does the Bible say about work?

Work is a significant aspect of life, and the Bible has much to say about it. The Bible emphasizes the importance of work, not only in providing for ourselves and our families, but also in serving God and others. In this article, we will explore what the Bible says about work, its purpose, and what it teaches us about how we approach our responsibilities in the workplace.

The Purpose of Work

The Bible teaches that work is not a curse, but a blessing. In Genesis, we see that God led by example, creating the world and all that is in it, and then assigning Adam to tend the Garden of Eden. We are created in God’s image and are called to be stewards of the earth. This means that work is a reflection of God’s creative and productive nature.

When we work, we are fulfilling our God-given responsibility to exercise dominion over the earth, to care for it, and to use it to produce food, shelter, and other necessities. Work is also a way for us to serve others, to contribute to society, and to build meaningful relationships with co-workers and customers.

The Dignity of Work

The Bible also teaches us that all work is valuable and should be esteemed. In 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, Paul exhorts the Thessalonian church to lead quiet lives, to mind their own affairs, and to work with their hands so that they may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one. Likewise, Proverbs is full of wisdom regarding the value of hard work, diligence, and integrity in the workplace.

When we work with excellence, we are reflecting God’s glory and pointing others to Him. We should view our work as an opportunity to use our skills and abilities to the best of our ability, to pursue excellence in everything we do, and to be a faithful witness to those around us.

Work and Rest

God established the pattern of work and rest in creation, working for six days and resting on the seventh. In Exodus, we see that God commanded the Israelites to observe the Sabbath day as a day of rest and worship, setting aside their work for a day of reflection, gratitude, and renewal.

Likewise, we should recognize the importance of rest and restoration in our own lives. We need time to recover from the rigors of work, to reconnect with our families, and to rest in the knowledge that our ultimate security and provision come from God and not our own efforts. As we rest, we are reminded of our dependence on God, and our need for His grace and mercy in all aspects of our lives.


1. Is work a punishment from God?

No, work is not a punishment from God. Although we see that work became more difficult after the fall, the biblical view of work is that it is a necessary and honorable pursuit, a way for us to serve God and others, and to fulfill our responsibilities as stewards of His creation.

2. Should Christians only work in certain professions?

No, Christians can and should work in a variety of professions. Each profession has unique opportunities for using our skills and abilities to glorify God and serve others. However, we should always conduct ourselves in a way that honors God and aligns with His principles and values.

3. What does the Bible teach about working for a boss who is unfair or unkind?

The Bible teaches that we should work with excellence, even when our boss is unkind or unfair, as unto the Lord and not unto men. (Colossians 3:23) However, we should also cultivate an attitude of humility, forgiveness, and love towards our boss, trusting that God is ultimately in control and that He is able to use difficult situations to refine our character and teach us valuable lessons.

4. How can we maintain a biblical perspective on work in a culture that values achievement and success above all else?

We can maintain a biblical perspective on work by remembering that our ultimate success is not measured by our accomplishments or our status, but by our obedience to God and our faithfulness in fulfilling the responsibilities He has given us. We should also seek to serve others rather than pursuing our own agendas, recognizing that our work is ultimately a reflection of God’s love and grace to a world in need.

5. Can we find meaning and purpose in our work?

Yes, we can find meaning and purpose in our work. Whether we are serving customers, managing a team, or performing a physical task, our work is an opportunity to glorify God and serve others. We should strive to approach our work with honesty, integrity, and excellence, recognizing that these qualities are pleasing to God and can make a significant impact on those around us.

6. How can we avoid burnout and exhaustion from our work?

We can avoid burnout and exhaustion by setting appropriate boundaries, prioritizing rest and renewal, and delegating tasks when necessary. We should also seek to cultivate positive relationships with co-workers, supervisors, and customers, recognizing that a healthy work environment is essential for sustainable growth and flourishing.

7. How can we strive for excellence in our work without becoming perfectionistic?

We can strive for excellence in our work by setting realistic goals, asking for feedback from others, learning from our mistakes, and avoiding the trap of perfectionism. We should also recognize that our ultimate goal is not to meet external standards of success or perfection, but to honor God in everything we do.

8. What does the Bible teach about balancing work and family responsibilities?

The Bible teaches that our first priority is our relationship with God, followed by our responsibilities to our families, and then to our work. (Matthew 6:33) We should seek to maintain a healthy balance between these three areas, taking care to invest in our relationships with God and our families, while also fulfilling our responsibilities in the workplace.

9. How can we use our work to serve God and others?

We can use our work to serve God and others by approaching our tasks with humility, excellence, and a heart of service. We should also look for opportunities to share our faith with co-workers, customers, and others we encounter in our work, recognizing that our greatest impact may be through our example and witness.

10. Does the Bible have anything to say about retirement?

While the Bible does not specifically address retirement, it does teach us to be wise stewards of our resources and to plan for the future. (Proverbs 6:6-8; 21:5) We should seek to use our time, talents, and resources in ways that honor God and serve others, recognizing that retirement may be a season for renewed focus on ministry, service, and other meaningful pursuits.

11. How can we cope with job loss or unemployment?

We can cope with job loss or unemployment by seeking support from family, friends, and our faith community, while also making practical plans for finding new employment or alternative sources of income. We should also trust in God’s provision and wisdom, recognizing that He is able to use even difficult seasons to refine our character, deepen our faith, and bring about His purposes in our lives.

12. How can we use our work to honor God and make a difference in the world?

We can use our work to honor God and make a difference in the world by seeking to reflect His character and values in everything we do. We should approach our tasks with excellence, integrity, and a heart of service, recognizing that our work is ultimately a reflection of God’s love and grace to those around us. We should also seek to use our position, influence, and resources to make a meaningful impact in our communities, addressing the needs of the vulnerable, promoting justice and equality, and sharing the hope of the gospel with those who are hurting and in need.

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About Emma Miller

Emma Miller has enjoyed working as a writer for over 18 years and holds a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and Education, but has also studied Ancient History and Engish Literature. She is fascinated by the science of dreams and is a long-time member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams

She has a wide range of hobbies and interests, ranging from mythology and ancient cultures to the works of J.R.R. Tolkein and taking care of her extensive garden.

Emma works as one of the staff writers of Rockridge Institute – The Spirit Magazine but also enjoys writing about other topics that interest her for various publications and websites.

She lives with her husband, Tom, and their two cats, Mitzy and Frodo, in San Diego, California.

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