28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;
30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

In 2013, Forbes published an article stating that a reported 63% of polled employees identified themselves as “not engaged” with their work. Only 13% identified as actively engaged and another 24% identified as “actively disengaged.”[1] With these kinds of responses, it's easy to see how people view work as a curse and not a blessing. Even those who follow Christ may easily believe that work is a result of the fall of man and not something God intended originally in creation.

The idea that work as we know it is a result of the fall is both right and wrong. First, this idea is wrong in that work was part of God’s original created order. We see this clearly in this passage from Genesis 1. From the beginning, God gave the first man and woman a role and responsibility as stewards over His creation. The idea of work as a result of the fall is partially right in that work as we often know it today has been marred by the fall.

In Genesis 3, following the entrance of sin into the world, God told Adam that the result of sin for him would be toil in the work he had been given (Gen. 3:17-19). We don’t have to look far to see the reality of God’s words to Adam in the world. Even for those of us who enjoy our work, we regularly face moments of frustration as processes, relationships, and equipment function in a broken way.

Still, as we consider work as a means of worshipping God this week, it's important that we begin by recognizing that work was originally given by God and is not bad in and of itself—even if our experience of work is often broken. Even in the brokenness of work, we are called to pursue God’s purposes and honor in all that we do.

• Where do you experience the most frustration with your work on a regular basis?

• How would you stand out in your workplace if you lived each day as someone seeking to honor God in your work, not complaining or looking for a way to get by with as little effort as possible?

• Pray that God would give you a right perspective on work and His purposes for you in your specific work.

[1] Adams, Susan. "Unhappy Employees Outnumber Happy Ones By Two To One Worldwide." Forbes. October 10, 2013. Accessed February 01, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2013/10/10/unhappy-employees-outnumber-happy-ones-by-two-to-one-worldwide/#28bec8cf362a.