by Bo Sanchez
I’ve met Christians who hate their job and think that when we enter Paradise, there’s no such thing as work. They think heaven is one grand
vacation, and we’ll all be sitting on fluffy clouds, plucking at our harps, and playing ring toss with our halos all day long.
Is heaven a retirement home? I don’t think so.
But why do people think this way?
Because they believe that work was punishment for man’s sin. They quote what God said after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit: “And he said to the man, ‘You listened to your wife and ate the fruit which I told you not to eat’” (Genesis 3:17). (By the way, I just need to say this here: Listening to your wife is not the problem. There were many times God used my wife to speak to me. The problem was not that Adam listened to his wife, but that Adam did not listen to God. OK, back to the story.)
“‘Because of what you have done, the ground will be under a curse. You will have to work hard all your life to make it produce enough food for you.It will produce weeds and thorns, and you will have to eat wild plants. You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything’” (Genesis 3:17-19, GNT, emphasis added). Because of this passage, some Christians think that all human work was a punishment from God. as a punishment from God.
But that’s not true. Here’s why: The fall happened in Genesis 3. In Genesis 2, before man sinned, God already said, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (v. 15, emphasis added). God wants us to “work it!”
And as we do, He prospers the work of our hands.
Two Kinds of Work
There’s work before the fall and there’s work after the fall.
The first kind of work was enjoyable, the second was not.
Why? The first work was done in the Garden of Eden, and that meant Adam was connected with the Owner of the Garden. The second kind of work was done outside God’s Garden, thus, the connection was broken.
Friend, what kind of work are you doing—the first or the second?
Are you doing your work in God’s Garden? Are you doing work that’s connected with God? Are you doing work that’s connected to your God-ordained purpose? That’s when work becomes enjoyable—no matter how difficult.
May I share? My work is beyond intense. Every single day, I have deadlines to meet. I need to churn out essays, newsletters, blog posts, and videos by the truckload. Thirty-plus essays a week is usual for me. Shooting seven videos in a single day is normal. By the time I crash in bed, I feel like a rag squeezed dry of every drop of moisture.
But here’s the thing: I love it.
When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.
The only downside? This may be extreme, and this may only be me, but I have a difficult time looking for a “regular” type of recreation. Because my work is my recreation. Obviously, my best recreation is spending time with my wife, my kids, and friends. That’s always number one.
But once in a while, I try to watch Netflix and I enjoy a few shows, but the inevitable always happens. I compare my excitement from writing a talk and my excitement from watching a show—and hands down—I get more excitement crafting a lifechanging message that will impact the world.
I urge you: Find God in your work. Work in His Garden.
If you do, work is not a punishment; work is a privilege. We work because God works. And we work because we work with Him. So tomorrow morning, when you go to work, say it aloud: “I’m God’s coworker.” Say it every morning. Say it when you’re pressured in the middle of the day. Say it when you fail. Say it when you succeed. Say it at night when you’re exhausted. Say it with gratitude.
Read the full “Main Course” column in FEAST Magazine May 2022 issue, available at www.feastbooks.ph
Photo from Unsplashed.com