Work and education

Work in a TGIF Culture


Elizabeth Mallicoat January 20, 2020
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Did you know that the average American spends 90,000 hours of their life at work? Additionally, 80% say they are dissatisfied with their jobs and that work is the number one cause of stress in their life.

 

The idea of work is often misunderstood in our culture. Young people find two primary schools of thought concerning their work and vocation.

 

One mindset urges us to live for the weekend, says “Thank God It’s Friday,” and mourns the coming of Monday and a new week of work. It sees work as a necessary evil. The other perspective praises the workaholic, rewards the grind and hustle, and measures success by the money made or the title held. In this achievement-driven mindset, we idolize work, and our identity rests in our status. 

 

Neither mindset, ultimately, is a healthy view of work. So, what is? How do we approach the topic of work from a Biblical perspective? 

 

God himself sets an example for us in the very first pages of Scripture. Genesis 1 recounts the story of God creating the Earth. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” God first demonstrates how He worked, then instructs us to do the same. 

 

God’s perfect design included work. Work, however, will not always be easy; sin and the fall guarantee that work will be hard, painful, tedious, and sometimes seem pointless. However, work itself is not the result of our sin. We are challenged to overcome the difficulties that work on earth presents and glorify God despite that. In the end, God created work, and work is good.

 

While we may be tempted to view work negatively or make it an idol, the truth is that work is a means of bringing glory to God. Col. 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Work isn’t limited to earning money–your work may be diligently studying for the SAT, joyfully finishing chores at home, or faithfully volunteering with your church. 

 

Ultimately, when we work hard for the Lord it is glorifying to God. We must combat laziness on the one hand, but we also must not find our identity in our work. We bury ourselves under the burden of building a resume of achievements to gain recognition. But our value is not in what we do. Why?

 

God shows us in Genesis that although we are called to diligently work hard, we are also called to take a Sabbath. Resting is an act of humility, recognizing that although we may work to provide for ourselves, in the end, it is He who provides. 

 

In our work, we are reminded by God that our worth does not come from how good our grades are, how much money we make, or how prestigious our title is. We have no value to offer Christ despite how successful we are in the eyes of the world. However, Christ defined our worth by choosing to come to Earth and die on the cross for our redemption.

 

The gospel frees us from both the temptation to give in to laziness and the temptation to idolize our accomplishments. Because of this freedom, we are enabled to serve God and the people surrounding us. We have been given incomparable value, and now we must seek to glorify Him through our work for the rest of our lives.

 


Editor’s Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of TeenPact Leadership Schools. To learn more about our Vision & Values, please visit teenpact.com/vision-values/.

About the Author

Elizabeth Mallicoat

Elizabeth Mallicoat hails from the gorgeous “Aloha State”, but due to growing up as a military brat since day one, she finds it difficult… Read More