Tuesday, November 18, 2014

THE BIBLE CALLING US TO THE GRACE OF WORK




 These days the entire Capuchin Order is discussing and reflecting on the grace of work in order to celebrate the forthcoming VIII PCO in 2015. The commission for the same had sent a detailed questionnaire to the entire order for discussion and had requested the fraternities to send their fruits of discussion to commission. The response was not very encouraging though some of them courageously contributed and suggested many points for the celebration of PCO. As I was talking to our Vicar General who is heading the commission about the poor response, I thought why not write on blog something about the work in the Bible… I have written something before on the blog and will continue to do so…..The book of Genesis speaks about God as a worker who creates the world and human beings. (Gen. 1:1-15). It is heartening to read the God worked for six days and took rest on the 7th day. God the Father was the first one to do work and give value to it. If God the father who is good and He worked for six days which speaks that work is good also inherently good. God after completing His work He was satisfied with the fruits of the labor, He called it very good. God had all the rights to boast and take pleasure in His work because He spent 6 days in working. We must sometimes look at the fruit of our labor and examine the quality of the work too.


Psalm 19 says that God reveals Himself to the world by His work. Through natural revelation, God’s existence is made known to every person on earth. Thus, work reveals something about the one doing the work. It exposes underlying character, motivations, skills, abilities, and personality traits. Jesus echoed this principle in Matthew 7:15-20 when He declared that bad trees produce only bad fruit and good trees only good fruit. Isaiah 43:7 indicates that God created man for His own glory. In 1Corinthians 10:31 we read that whatever we do should be to His glory.
God created man in His image with characteristics like Him (Genesis 1:26-31). He created man to work with Him in the world. God planted a garden and put Adam in it to cultivate and maintain it (Genesis 2:8,15).

In Ecclesiastes 2:4-11, Solomon details his search for meaning in a variety of projects and works of all kinds. Even though the work brought some degree of satisfaction in accomplishment, his conclusion was, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”
Other critical biblical principles regarding work are:
• Work is done not only to benefit the worker, but others also (Exodus 23:10-11;Deuteronomy 15:7-11;Ephesians 4:28).

• Work is a gift from God and, for His people, will be blessed (Psalm 104:1-35;127:1-5;Ecclesiastes 3:12-13,5:18-20;Proverbs 14:23).
• God equips His people for their work (Exodus 31:2-11).
The Bible is harsh in its condemnation of laziness (Proverbs 18:9).
Paul makes the Christian work ethic abundantly clear: “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
In addition, Paul’s instruction to another church regarding those who preferred not to work was to “keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us.” And he goes on to say, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: ‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’" Instead, Paul instructs those who had been idle, “Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the bread they eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:12).
The Capuchin attitude toward work should mirror that of Jesus: “My food, said Jesus, is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Work is of no value except when God is in it

(THIS ARTICLE IS ADAPTED BASED ON ONE ARTICLE WHICH I CAME ACROSS IN MY READING)

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