John, an electrical engineer, will be 88 years old next month. After nearly 70 years in the workplace, he still goes to the office 2-3 days each week not because he has to work, but because he wants to work. You might ask, shouldn’t he retire and enjoy life? John enjoys life through his work. He works as unto the Lord and offers back to God with excellence the giftedness that was assigned and entrusted to him. John still values his work and his company values his contribution. His right perspective about work leads him to enjoy and appreciate what he does.
From the very beginning, work was assigned to man as part of God’s plan. Even before sin entered the world, (i.e. before the fall of man), God placed man in the Garden of Eden and instructed him to “tend it and to keep it” (Gen 2:15). Work was assigned to man as a good thing, a holy endeavor and a sacred privilege. God did not make work a temporary thing. Nor did He assign man to quit working with a gold ring after 30 years on the job. Despite what many Christians believe, work is not a curse, a necessary evil required to earn a paycheck, and the workplace is not enemy territory where God does not exist. These are myths, workplace fallacies adopted by many believers in the workplace. In fact, God Himself was the first worker and He still works today (He hasn’t retired, yet!).
Please don’t get me wrong, not everyone should work until they are 88 years old. We know there are many limitations that prohibit it. However, regardless of work longevity, believers are required to possess a right perspective and to adopt a right theology about their work.
Examine your perspective about work. Is your work a necessary evil? Or, is it a God assignment? Is work drudgery? Or, do you work with excellence, diligence and joy because the Bible instructs it to be done “heartily as unto the Lord and not unto man” (Col. 3:23)? If your perspective on work theology has been twisted, then align it to what the Bible teaches. Acknowledge that you’ve been gifted, called (Romans 11:29) and equipped by God for your work (Ex. 31:2-6). We may not all be blessed to work 70 plus years, but we can have a right perspective.
Adopt John’s perspective to the glory of the Lord.