When Work Stinks

Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” ESV Genesis 3:17-19

I begin this post with a longer passage than normal, and if you are one who skips Scripture passages, please go back and read it. Too often, we forget the Bible answers some of our most basic daily questions. Are you struggling with your job? Do you hate what you do? Is it unfulfilling? One step forward, two steps back? That’s the way it’s supposed to be…because of sin and the curse.

Spiritual formation aligns our life with God’s truth, applying Scripture to all of life. Part of this involves remembering that sin brought the curse which makes our jobs hard. Most days, our jobs will be difficult. Most days they will be unfulfilling. It’s not that we are doing things wrong. We may be doing things perfectly right! The curse changes the very core of our existence. God created us to work, but because we chose to worship things other than Him, our work is corrupted. We can expect it to remain this way until we die and return to the ground. Ultimately, the ground will be our master.

However, all of this ignores the gospel. When Christ went “to the ground” in death, God did not allow his body to see decay or return to dust. Instead, God raised Him from the dead and offers this same resurrection to us. The hope of the gospel applied to our work is simply this: the ground will win. We will die and return to dust. However, our faith in Christ will raise us up again, and we will ultimately triumph over the dust. Be encouraged. There is a hope in the future.

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