“God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Have you ever heard something teach that you are not your job or what you do? Sometimes, such teachers what us to put aside what we do because, under their understanding, a human being is not what he does with his life.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What you do is part of what it means to be made in the image of God. Before marriage, before family, before anything else there was work and work was the primary way to imitate God. You cannot reflect the image of God in you without some kind of labor. Even the retired do this by the history of their labor.
Consider, what was the first thing that scripture told us about God to help us understand who he is? It is this statement, “In the beginning, God created…” (Genesis 1:1). Did you get that? The first description about God in the Bible is a statement about what God does, his work. He is Creator. Actually, the book of Job was likely written before Genesis. After Job complains to God about his treatment God answers him by doing what? By giving a description of himself as Creator (Job 38-41). If God’s identity can be described by what he does, then why not you, who has been made in God’s image? What is an image? Something that represents another thing. Therefore, if God is Creator and you are his image, then you are what you do.
What all of this reveals to us is that work is a blessing, not a necessary evil. Even the ideal society in Genesis 2 ascribed work even before marriage. If we are—intentionally—not engaged in work then we are violating God’s design for us to become like him. Even Jesus was described by what he did. He was a carpenter, then he was called a Rabbi, then he was called Savior, and we know him as Lord. These aren’t states of being. These are functions. Our functions describe now only what we do, but who and what we are.
What are you?
“Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah” (Acts 18:5).
Rest from work is good and encouraged in scripture. But laziness is not. Do a spiritual inventory. How would you describe your activity? Do you regularly engage in useful work to others, your family, and even yourself? Remember, your work glorifies God. Thank him for all that you must do.