Genesis 3 tells the story of how Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered into the world. As a result, God cursed the serpent, Eve, Adam, and as a result, all of mankind. As a part of God’s curse upon Adam the ground is cursed, work is filled with toil and pain, and mankind is destined to withdraw and despise work (verses 17-19). This creates an perspective among Christ followers that work is the curse of mankind’s fall, however that is not a complete picture of what scripture says.
Genesis 1 is the story of creation where God spoke the world into existence and created mankind in his image. Mankind is a reflection of his Creator, and the Creator has workmanship built into his character. The first command God gives to mankind is to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion…over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:26-28).
Jesus, the Son of God reveals the character of the Creator once again when he explains with urgency that he must work on the will of the Father while it is still light (John 9:4). Jesus had a clear understanding of his purpose while he walked the earth, and it was to be busy working on advancing the Kingdom of Heaven while he had time; his followers, as they reflect God’s character, should have the same perspective on their time on earth and work diligently and with a sense of urgency (Witherington III, 2011).
This is also revealed in Isaiah’s glimpse into the forever future when he paints a picture, not one of an eternal vacation, but of fellowship through working and laboring in abundance rather than toil and pain (Isaiah 65:20-25).
How can vocational work become work for God?
Witherington III, B. (2011). Work: A Kingdom Perspective on Labor. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing.