What is Work?

There are a lot of words and definitions used when talking about the subject of work and faith; terms like vocationjobcallingpassion, and many more. We want to be clear on what we mean – and more important what the Bible means – when we talk about work.

For our purposes, we are defining work as almost anything you do that is not leisure. This is a purposefully broad definition to encompass not only the work that many of us do to generate an income, but to also include other activities that give us the opportunity to engage in every work that God has prepared for us. This means that work can at least include:

Our Jobs
Raising children as a stay-at-home parent
Hobbies or passions
Creative works for personal expression
Serving others through various means

It’s important to define work through this lens because the Bible speaks to many different types of work outside of what we would think of as our job. Here are a few examples:

  • “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure,” – Phillipians 2:13
  • “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” – John 5:17
  • “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” – Genesis 2:15

Just in these few passages, we see God working in us for his own pleasure, Jesus working alongside of God the Father, and man working in the context that God placed him. It’s clear from these scriptures, and many others, that work can take on different meanings and take place in different contexts; so now the question is, what does the bible actually say about work itself?

What Next?

With this common understanding of how we are defining work, the natural next step
is to dive into all that the Bible has to offer us in terms of God’s purposes for us and our work.


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