Finding purpose in our work
First, God made a man. Then He made a garden and told the man to take care of it. We might think that work came about as a result of the fall. It’s true that work took on a different meaning at that point, but it’s a mistake to think the first people had no purpose. From the time Adam and Eve were created, it’s clear that God intended us to be like Him – creative, productive, and invested in tasks that contribute to His purposes. Adam and Eve were put in charge of the garden, and before their selfish decision to disobey God, they enjoyed maximum fulfilment in their work. The Bible says: ‘Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name’ (v.19 NKJV). The first job in the universe included identifying the nature, gifts, and strengths of each creature, and overseeing them. Adam was God’s manager of creation, and Eve was created to be Adam’s ‘helper’. Productive work is God’s plan for our lives. It’s rewarding when we do a job well, and it gives us a sense of value. We might be tempted to think that work is a hardship or a punishment, and the most successful people in life are the ones who don’t need to work. But we were each created to fulfil a purpose in life, and when we know we’re living that purpose, we can begin to enjoy our work. When we’re working for God and following His will, we’re successful in His eyes.
Write a list of things the world views as defining success. Now write another list of things that make you successful in God’s eyes. Then pray that your idea of success would line up with God’s rather than the world’s.
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