Is Work a Blessing or a Curse?

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Is work a curse or a blessing?

I have heard that question all my life. And the various opinions associated with the answers. Even for those who have careers in ministry…is it a blessing or a curse?

During such discussions, some who answer “blessing” have even told me that ministry is not work, since it is a blessing. I completely agree that ministry is a blessing, but isn’t it also work? If I can’t call it work, then I’m in trouble with 2 Thessalonians 3:10 and other passages. (And I need a real job 🙂 ) Even though it is a blessing to serve, ministry can be hard too. I don’t know of a pastor who wouldn’t agree that the work of ministry is difficult and messy; even as rewarding as it can be to help others.

Now back to the original question.

Is the work a blessing or a curse?

Many people answer that question as to whether or not they like their job, but the question isn’t whether or not you enjoy your work, but simply is work a curse or a blessing?

As I read Genesis 3, after the fall of man, work appears to be cursed. Consider this: “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground…” (Genesis 3:18-19) Sounds cursed.

At the same time,the ability to work and the income, production and opportunities it provides is a blessing. In a day when many are looking for work, I’m very thankful to have a job. There are those during this economy who have learned how much of a blessing any job is, just to be able to eat and provide for shelter.

God created work and I actually enjoy it. Ministry is my work…my job. God has called me to the vocational work of ministry and when I am doing the will of God I have an inner peace I can’t get any other way, so I love my work. Sounds like a blessing.

So, I’m thinking it could be a little of both.

I don’t think work is bad. Maybe the curse isn’t work, but on the enjoyment of the work we do. Somedays work is hard. Many days. Sometimes achieving the blessings from work come with sweat and labor. One of the reasons we often dread Mondays, for example, is because of the curse upon work, but, if we were honest, most of us are glad we have a job to go to on Mondays.

It shouldn’t surprise us that something God created as a blessing falls under a curse. Other areas of our life became more difficult at the fall of man, didn’t they? God created marriage. Marriage is wonderful. God created marriage before the fall, but would anyone who is married say that a great marriage never happens without a lot of hard “work”?

Here’s a final thought. If work is a blessing that falls under a curse, then it seems to me that even when our work is hard, the goal should still be to enjoy it. It’s a blessing.

We are blessed to work. Even if its subject to a curse.

What do you think?

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10 thoughts on “Is Work a Blessing or a Curse?

  1. We can’t refuse that fact that introduction should grab the reader's attention so I do my essay with a good introduction. The presentation may as well get the viewer's consideration, set up the issue, and lead into your postulation. Your introduction is simply a development of the issue, a phase of carrying your followers into the exposition's contention.

  2. Work itself is a blessing. Before the fall, Adam was tasked with being the earth’s caretaker – in other words, work.

    The curse of the fall was that the relationships became antagonistic. Where before the curse the earth yielded up its bounty willingly in response to the care given, now the earth actively fights against being cultivated: weeds spring up, weather causes crops to fail, etc.

    This idea has helped ease the frustrations brought on by difficulties in work for me. Everything is being redeemed and restored by God, but that is not yet complete. So in the already-and-not-yet, I can work with a sustaining hope of restoration, while accepting the difficulties that come along as the reality that the world is still broken.

  3. Great thoughts! I strive to enjoy my work no matter what I do, from my job as a minister, to my chores at the house, like yard work. My goal is to do everything I do as if I'm doing it for Christ.

  4. This is a post that really hits a tough mark! I know several people that have remained in a job they hate because the economy is so bad, they are afraid they will nit be able to find one they can do and like!
    Conversely, I know of others that dread Monday, as you mentioned in the post, but not because of the job rather because they are unemployed. Monday morning reminds them they don't have a job. They would give just about anything to have a even a job they hated, so long as they were working! Having that job makes them feel a viable part of society, worth while!
    Twitter: bryankr

  5. Ron, great post thank you. From my tradition (Roman Catholic) we see work as part of the unfolding, co-creating power of God. Yes, subject to curse but blessed nonetheless.