(Re) Creating a New Value for Work
I don’t know about you, but I am blown away at the current work ethic. People don’t want to work and are not working.
Businesses are short-staffed. Flights are delayed and lawns uncut because of inadequate workers. Friends tell me they are trying to hire but no one will show up for the interview or take the job when it is offered. A restaurant owner told me he had to ask one of his burrito makers to stop the constant munching on the steak and shrimp, and the worker said “No, you’ll have to fire me.” The worker knew the tide had sunk so low the owner couldn’t fire him because he was the only person that would show up!
All of this shows an erosion of values that our society is experiencing. More importantly it also raises the question of how do we instill the right work ethic in people? I think the best way to reclaim these values is by recapturing God’s vision for life, so I want to give three quick points from God’s word on this issue.
1. We are created to work (Genesis 1:26)
The first page and first chapter of the Bible establish the importance of work. God created people to work. It is a part of who we are. People are to have God-honoring dominion over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air, the animals, etc. That means taking care of the animals, fixing the burritos, cleaning the tables, loading the airplanes, and much more. Work is good and a way we reflect the God who works! When people reject work they cease to live in accordance with the pattern in which they were created.
2. He who does not work shall not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
This is as simple and direct as it gets. If you want to eat you then need to earn your keep. It is appropriate to expect people to contribute to society. We have this rule in my house. Most chores are done because they need to be done and everybody has a part in the well-being of the house. If you don’t do dishes when it’s your turn, then we don’t have clean dishes. Everyone suffers from your negligence. This has been lost today, and for some reason people who should be corrected are being coddled. Everyone is suffering because of it.
3. Work blesses others (1 Peter 4:10)
The Bible says by using our gifts we bless other people and “administer God’s grace in its many forms.” When you have a computer guy who makes sure your computer is protected from viruses and functioning correctly, you experience God’s grace. When the luggage is carried from one plane to another in a timely manner, everyone is blessed. When you have a doctor who speaks the truth and does the right thing, you experience God’s grace. When a teacher cares for children and helps them learn, both the kids and parents are blessed. And yes, when your burrito is made correctly (extra guac!), and the worker doesn’t steal from the business, everyone is blessed. It also feels good to know you are helping others. When this doesn’t happen, frustration sets it, and that is what we are all feeling!
Our society has become silent on these because morals are clouded and lost, and if things are going to change it is going to take clarity and conviction. If people are going to live for the purpose they were created and have a society that is doing the right things then realigning our lives with God’s word is the only way it can happen, and I believe people are longing for answers on these issues.
Check out our most recent Pastoral Encouragement post entitled, “Why Hanging at the Pool is Not the Church.”