Biblical Principles of Work and Earning - A Biblical Guide To Money 2

Biblical Principles of Work and Earning – Biblical Guide To Money 2

Pastor Duke Taber

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Work is an integral part of our lives, and the Bible has much to say about it. As Christians, our approach to work and earning should be shaped by biblical principles. This study will explore the biblical perspective on work, its purpose, and how we can honor God through our labor.

Key Verses

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24, NKJV)

“In all labor there is profit, But idle chatter leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23, NKJV)

These verses highlight the importance of working diligently and with the right attitude, recognizing that our ultimate motivation should be to serve and honor God.

Reflective Questions

  1. What comes to mind when you think about work? How has your perspective on work been shaped by your experiences and cultural influences?
  2. Why is it important for Christians to understand and apply biblical principles to their work and earning?
Biblical Principles of Work and Earning - Biblical Guide To Money 2

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The Purpose of Work

To develop a biblical perspective on work, we must first understand its purpose. Work is not a consequence of the fall or a necessary evil, but rather a part of God’s original design for humanity.

Created to Work

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15, NKJV)

From the beginning, God created humans to work. Before the fall, Adam was given the responsibility to tend and keep the Garden of Eden. Work was a part of God’s good creation, a means by which humans could fulfill their purpose and find satisfaction.

This truth challenges the notion that work is a curse or a punishment. Instead, it is a gift from God, an opportunity to partner with Him in stewarding and cultivating His creation.

Work as Worship

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17, NKJV)

The Bible teaches that our work can be an act of worship to God. When we approach our work with the right attitude and motivation, it becomes a means by which we can glorify God and serve others.

This perspective transforms the way we view our daily tasks and responsibilities. Whether we are in full-time ministry or a secular job, our work becomes infused with purpose and meaning when we see it as an opportunity to honor God.

Reflective Questions

  1. How does understanding work as part of God’s original design change your perspective on your daily tasks and responsibilities?
  2. In what ways can you approach your work as an act of worship to God?

The Dignity of Work

The Bible affirms the inherent dignity and value of work. Regardless of the type of work we do, it has worth in God’s eyes and contributes to His purposes.

All Work Has Value

“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship.” (Exodus 35:31-33, NKJV)

In the construction of the tabernacle, God gifted and called individuals to various types of work, from artistic design to craftsmanship. This passage demonstrates that God values and empowers all kinds of work, not just religious or ministerial roles.

The dignity of work is not determined by the prestige or pay associated with it, but by the fact that it is a means by which we can use our God-given talents and abilities to serve others and contribute to society.

Working as Unto the Lord

“Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.” (Ephesians 6:5-7, NKJV)

This passage, while addressing the specific context of bondservants, reveals an important principle for all workers. We are called to work with sincerity, diligence, and goodwill, as if we were serving Christ directly.

When we approach our work with this mindset, it transforms even the most mundane tasks into opportunities to glorify God. It also guards against the temptation to work only for human approval or personal gain, and instead reorients our motivation to pleasing God.

Reflective Questions

  1. How does the biblical affirmation of the dignity of all work challenge cultural notions of success and prestige?
  2. In what ways can you cultivate a mindset of working as unto the Lord in your daily responsibilities?

Diligence and Integrity in Work

The Bible emphasizes the importance of diligence and integrity in our work. As Christians, our work ethic should be marked by excellence, honesty, and perseverance.

The Value of Diligence

“He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” (Proverbs 10:4, NKJV)

“The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.” (Proverbs 13:4, NKJV)

These verses from Proverbs highlight the value of diligence in work. Those who are diligent and hardworking are more likely to experience prosperity and provision, while those who are lazy or slack in their work often face poverty.

Diligence is not just about working hard, but also about working wisely and efficiently. It involves using our time, talents, and resources responsibly to achieve the best possible results in our work.

Integrity and Honesty

“Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord, But a just weight is His delight.” (Proverbs 11:1, NKJV)

“Better is the poor who walks in his integrity Than one perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” (Proverbs 28:6, NKJV)

Integrity and honesty are essential qualities for Christians in the workplace. We are called to be truthful in our dealings, fair in our transactions, and above reproach in our conduct.

The Bible warns against dishonest practices, such as using false weights and measures or engaging in fraud. These practices may bring temporary gain, but they ultimately dishonor God and harm others.

Integrity in our work is a witness to our faith and a reflection of our character. It may not always lead to worldly success or recognition, but it is pleasing to God and has eternal value.

Reflective Questions

  1. How can you cultivate greater diligence and excellence in your work, even in tasks that may seem insignificant?
  2. In what ways can you demonstrate integrity and honesty in your workplace, even when it may be difficult or unpopular?

Work and Rest

The Bible affirms the importance of both work and rest. While diligence and hard work are commended, God also instituted the principle of Sabbath rest as a gift and a command.

The Gift of Sabbath

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work.” (Exodus 20:8-10, NKJV)

The commandment to observe the Sabbath reminds us that rest is not optional, but essential. God Himself modeled this principle by resting on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:2-3).

The Sabbath is a gift from God, a regular rhythm of rest and worship that helps us to recharge, refocus, and remember our dependence on Him. It is a safeguard against the temptation to find our identity and worth solely in our work or productivity.

The Balance of Work and Rest

“It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2, NKJV)

While the Bible commends diligence and hard work, it also warns against the futility of overwork and the neglect of rest. Psalm 127 teaches that it is ultimately God who provides for our needs, and that rest is a gift from Him.

This principle challenges the cultural narratives of hustle and grind, which often glorify overwork and burnout. As Christians, we are called to find a healthy balance between work and rest, trusting in God’s provision and embracing the gift of Sabbath.

Reflective Questions

  1. How can you incorporate the principle of Sabbath rest into your weekly rhythm, and what benefits might this bring to your work and overall well-being?
  2. In what ways can you cultivate a balanced approach to work and rest, resisting the temptation to find your identity and worth solely in your productivity?

Work as a Means of Service

Work is not just about personal gain or fulfillment, but also about serving others and contributing to the common good. The Bible calls us to use our work as a means of blessing and serving our neighbors.

Serving Others through Our Work

“And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” (Titus 3:14, NKJV)

“Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4, NKJV)

These verses remind us that our work should not be solely focused on our own interests, but also on meeting the needs of others. Whether through the products and services we provide, the way we treat our colleagues and customers, or the opportunities we have to share our faith, our work can be a means of serving and blessing others.

This perspective challenges the individualistic and self-centered approach to work that is prevalent in our culture. Instead, it calls us to see our work as part of God’s larger purposes, and to use our skills and resources to make a positive impact in the world.

Working for the Common Good

“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7, NKJV)

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, NKJV)

These passages, while addressing specific historical contexts, reveal a broader principle about our role in society. We are called to seek the welfare of the communities and institutions in which we find ourselves, and to use our influence and resources for the common good.

This may involve advocating for just policies, supporting charitable causes, or using our skills to address social problems. It also means being a positive presence in our workplaces, modeling Christ-like character and contributing to a healthy and productive work environment.

Reflective Questions

  1. How can you use your specific skills, talents, and resources to serve others and meet needs through your work?
  2. In what ways can you seek the welfare of your workplace, industry, or community, and how might this align with God’s purposes?


The biblical principles of work and earning provide a comprehensive framework for how we approach our daily labors. They remind us that work is a gift from God, an opportunity to worship Him, serve others, and fulfill our purpose.

As we have seen, the Bible affirms the dignity and value of all work, calls us to diligence and integrity in our labors, and provides a balanced perspective on work and rest. It challenges us to see our work not just as a means of personal gain, but as a way to contribute to the common good and advance God’s kingdom.

Applying these principles requires wisdom, discernment, and dependence on God. It may involve making difficult choices, going against cultural norms, or persevering through challenges and setbacks. But as we align our work with biblical values and seek to honor God in all we do, we can experience greater purpose, fulfillment, and fruitfulness in our labors.

May we embrace the biblical vision of work as a gift and a calling, and may we use our skills, talents, and resources to serve Christ and others with excellence and integrity. As we do so, we can trust that our work, however small or large, has eternal significance and is part of God’s redemptive purposes for the world.

Final Reflective Questions

  1. What are the most significant insights or challenges you have gained from this study on the biblical principles of work and earning?
  2. How will you apply these principles in your current work context, and what changes or adjustments might you need to make?
  3. How can you encourage and support others, both within and outside the church, to approach their work from a biblical perspective?
  4. What steps can you take to continually align your work with God’s purposes and to seek His guidance and wisdom in your daily labors?


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