The Christian Work Ethic

Protestors waved signs on Wall Street. When asked why they were there, they did not articulate any particular one reason. Each person asked gave a part of a reason. None of those reasons really seemed connected. One would have to wonder if they are just protesting to be protesting.

Nevertheless and unfortunately, there does seem to be class warfare brewing in the air. What shall we as Christians make of all this?

Going back to 2007, most of the folks that I talked to at that time were working multiple jobs. In some cases, they were business owners that did several different things. Today, many of the folks I talk to are looking for a job. Some have had several different jobs in the past year. One thing I have observed is that opportunities do exist on some level if you are willing to work.

That brings me to a look at the classes.

I understand living paycheck to paycheck. I’ve done it. What I don’t understand is being angry that someone has more than you do, especially if you are not willing to work for it.

What about those business owners? Even businesses on Wall Street once started out as a small and most likely a struggling business. There typically comes a time in the life of a business owner where they cannot pay the bills. They take the hit on their credit. They pay their employees, but don’t take a check for themselves. They skip getting paid hoping to get over a bump without letting someone else go. Often they work almost around the clock or at least some very long hours to keep the company profitable. When they finally make it to the top, they continue to provide jobs for many others. It’s all a part of being a business owner.

In contrast, those others can punch a clock and go home when ready. They leave the responsibility behind. Even so, many of them are very hard workers. Because of this, they are able to provide for their families without the risks and the hours of the owners.

What does scripture say about folks working or not working? What also does it say about attitude?

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard makes excuses for why he cannot work. Then, he begs for those who have more than he does.

The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.
Proverbs 13:4

This verse references both the material and the spiritual. Nevertheless, the sluggard covets things, but again he is not willing to work for them.

For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
2 Thessalonians 3:10

Christian work ethic is to work for what you have, and it’s not to covet what others have.

When someone works, are they not worthy of being paid? Are we to begrudge them those wages?

And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
Luke 10:7

When Jesus sent out the seventy before Him, He told them they were worthy of their hire. They were laboring for the Lord, and they earned their keep. We too are worthy of the wages gained by our work. We are not entitled to what we do not work to earn. We are not entitled to what someone else has.


Today’s challenge is to ask yourself if you are expecting someone to carry you through life. There may be times that we need unemployment or other assistance. However, being a sluggard is another thing altogether. Others may have more than us, but we are not to covet what they have. Ask God to show you if you have a Christian work ethic.