“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” Genesis 3:15
Contrary to popular belief, work is not a punishment. If work feels like a punishment or a curse to you it’s because you have the wrong perspective on work. Your perspective influences your reality. To work is infused in our DNA long before sin entered the world.
As one commentary stated, “It was sin that spoiled the pristine relationship between man and his environment, making work a toilsome chore that became a requirement for mere existence”*
The word translated “work” in verse 15 comes from a Hebrew word that is also translated as “worship” in other passages. With this in mind Paul encourages us in Colossians 3:23, “23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” and again in Ephesians 6:7, “7 Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Adam was responsible to work and keep the Garden of Eden. This Garden was also the place he met with God. God wants to meet you at work! This means you have been divinely called to the place you work in order to bring the reality of God to those you work with. God wants to promote you and give you favor not for the sole purpose of positions or bonuses but so you will promote Him.
If our motivation for work is a title, paycheck or a position we may begin to idolize work as our work consumes us. When we choose to work as we are responsible to God and not man, our work is translated as worship and work becomes more fulfilling. God is drawn to worship. When we alter our perspective of work His presence will show up and alter the environment.
Every Christian is called to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with others. Evangelism isn’t a gift. Yes, some people are more comfortable at sharing their faith with complete strangers than others. If you’re not that kind of person that’s okay (exhale) but that also doesn’t get you off the hook.
Statistically we spend more time working than participating in any other activity. Work provides us with an opportunity to share the gospel with people. You don’t have to be preachy or push your faith on people. We will uncover more opportunities to share as we work as unto God. Don’t aim for promotions, aim to honor God with work!
Whether you’re a stay at home mom or dad who manages the home and children or a blue collar worker, work in the service industry, work in an office or you are a CEO, CFO, COO, do it all for the glory of God. Your work effort is a representation of your faith in God as well as worship to God that will create opportunities for you to share your faith in God.
*New American Commentary