The person who labors, labors for himself, for his hungry mouth drives him on’ (Proverbs 16:26).
When God created humans, work had a fundamental role in their development. «Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it» (Genesis 2:15). Work is not a consequence of sin.
«To the dwellers in Eden was committed the care of the garden, ‘to dress it and to keep it.’ Their occupation was not wearisome, but pleasant and invigorating. God appointed labor as a blessing to man, to occupy his mind, to strengthen his body, and to develop his faculties. In mental and physical activity Adam found one of the highest pleasures of his holy existence. And when, as a result of his disobedience, he was driven from his beautiful home, and forced to struggle with a stubborn soil to gain his daily bread, that very labor, although widely different from his pleasant occupation in the garden, was a safeguard against temptation and a source of happiness»—Patriarchs and Prophets, ch. 2, p. 50.
The entrance of sin changed everything. It’s terrible consequences also affected work life, «Then to Adam He said, » ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return’ ‘t (Genesis 3:17-19). From then on, work would take on a new dimension, ‘And when, as a result of his disobedience, he was driven from his beautiful home, and forced to struggle with a stubborn soil to gain his daily bread, that very labor, although widely different from his pleasant occupation in the garden, was a safeguard against temptation and a source of happiness»—Ibid. That’s right, work dignifies your character, protects you against temptation and gives you great satisfaction.
But straying from God will give human beings a negative sense of work. Starting with slavery, taking advantage of others by paying low salaries, child labor, and other things. For instance, during the Middle Ages, nobles considered work was an activity that was disdainful and unworthy of a respectable person. The truth is we all need to work. Idleness is very dangerous. «The true joy of life is found only by the working men and women. The angels are diligent workers; they are the ministers of God to the children of men. The Creator has prepared no place for the stagnating practice of indolence.
Ask the Lord today to teach you to work and develop the gifts He’s given you.