In the last part of this series, we looked at how God created us to work and our need to work. Today, we’re going to look at God’s call for Christians to work hard.
Glorifying God with Our Work
There are many examples in the Bible where God calls us to good works for His glory. However, we’re going to look at a few that specifically pertain to our temporal work as a means of glorifying God.
In 1 Thessalonians, Paul encourages the church at Thessalonica to lead lives that will set a good example to those outside the church:
11 …and that you make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, even as we instructed you; 12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and may have need of nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 (WEB)
When we work hard and lead respectable lives we glorify God’s name. We show people the fruits of the Spirit within our lives and give them no reason for attacking the Church because of our actions. Our honest work also provides for our needs and beyond, enabling us to honor God by giving to the needs of others as well:
34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me. 35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:34-35 (WEB)
We ought to work hard so that we can support ourselves and have more left over to give to those in need. It is in this way that we can honor Jesus’ teaching to give generously and care for the poor. When we combine our hard work with contentment in Christ, we’ll find that we have even more to give to the poor. If we can be content but continue to earn more, we can do even more in Christ’s name and to the glory of God.
When we accept Christ, our entire mindset changes. We are no longer concerned only about ourselves and our own needs. Christ’s love in our hearts urges us to do what we can for those in need – even changing those who were thieves into workers for God:
Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.
Ephesians 4:28 (WEB)
It is with that mindset we should approach all our work. We are no longer working just to meet our own needs (and then our wants) – but we are working so we will have something to give to the needy. And all this is not for our own glory and recognition, but all for the glory and honor of God.
So let’s remember that when we work, we should work as if we’re working for the Lord. (Colossians 3:23-24) For the fruits of our labor will further the fruits of the Spirit by enabling us to give more and more in Christ’s name. And it is in this way that our work can glorify God.