We read in Genesis 1:26 that human beings have been created in the “image of God” (Imago Dei). We will spend the rest of our lives trying to fully understand what that ultimately means. However, with regard to work, let’s think a bit more specifically.
We learned last week that God is the original worker. The Bible opens with God at work. He created the universe as an expression of His will. Obviously, work itself cannot be a result of sin and judgment — because God works! He now has placed His image within us. Consequently, we should not be surprised that we are designed for work.
Further, we have the ability to be creative and imaginative in our work. This also seems to be a result of God’s image within us. He has crowned us with His glory (Psalm 8) and empowered us with His Spirit (Romans 8). Our work life is directly affected by these gifts from God. Dorothy Sayers has stated in one of her speeches on work, “work is the natural exercise and function of man – the creature who is made in the image of his Creator” (Dorothy Sayers, Why Work, this speech is located on the web HERE.
Here is another helpful thought from author Terrance Fretheim along these lines:
“Genesis does not present the creation as a finished product, wrapped up with a big red bow and handed over to the creatures to keep it exactly as originally created. It is not a one-time production. Indeed, for the creation to stay just as God originally created it would constitute a failure of the divine design. From God’s perspective, the world needs work; development and change are what God intends for it, and God enlists human beings (and other creatures) to that end. From another angle, God did not exhaust the divine creativity in the first week of the world; God continues to create and uses creatures in a vocation that involves the becoming of creation.”
-Terrance Fretheim, Creation Untamed: The Bible, God, and Natural Disasters, (Baker Academic, 2010), p. 15