Purpose filled work: How working can keep you physically, mentally and spiritually well

mental health wellness work Oct 26, 2023

Colossians 3: 23 -24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

When I say the word work what comes to mind? Usually nothing fun…maybe

Work tends to get a bad rep. Retiring early has been the dream of many. Others complain and wish they never had to work.  On the other hand, some people like what they do and say they can see themselves doing it until they leave this earth.

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I often imagine my life, retiring early, sitting on a beach, sipping a margarita, and doing whatever I want, traveling the world and trying new adventures. However, there is always a small part of me that knows, doing nothing, is eventually going to get…boring.

This usually happens when people retire, they get bored and look for something to do. It may not be the usual 9 to 5, but they are doing something. Statistics show that people who retire and do not remain active die much quicker than the person who retired and did. Whether they got involved in community volunteer work, working in their church, hobbies, or even part time work, being active is healthy. Physically and mentally.

Work also has a big theological significance. Biblical evidence indicates that human beings must be guided by God's will in their work. Without this guidance, work will ultimately be useless.

God worked when he created the world and everything in it, then he rested. Jesus completed his work when he died on the cross for our sins. And the Holy Spirit is still working on the earth now within us and through us. 

Working is part of who God is and he gave us this pattern, he told us to work and then rest. God gave Adam and Eve the job to till and work the land before the fall.


 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.


Our work in God is not in vain because we will live for eternity. The work we do on earth will influence the afterlife. How does it? Well, the work we do may have helped someone find God and get saved, that is one way it influences the afterlife. Therefore, work should be seen as a privilege and an opportunity. The work of unbelievers ends with them and this world.  

I learned recently listening to a podcast on the George Kamel show guest starring Rabbi Daniel Lapin, who wrote a book called Thou Shall Prosper, and he spoke of the Jewish view of work based on the Torah.

In Genesis chapter 2:15 God put Adam and Eve to work the land. Exodus chapter 20:9-10 the command for the sabbath says for six days you should do your work. God tells Moses to go to pharaoh and tell him to let my people go so that they may worship me in the desert. Then in Joshua 24:15 he said “as for me and my family we shall worship the Lord”. 

In the English language two of the verses, I stated above, uses the word work and the other two uses the word worship. However, in the Hebrew text, all four of those verses uses the same word that means worship. This is because working is another way of worshipping God. Work is part of our worship.

Christina Adrien

When we work, we are imitating God the father, living in the image he created us in. Human beings are called to imitatio dei (imitation of God) through work. Our work is done for the good of people, our neighbors. In almost every job you think of it is an act of service, you are either servicing customers, clients, patients, or your employer. This is service one to another and acts of service is a way to show love. This is the second greatest commandment Jesus gave us, to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We love by serving and serving is work. Love God with all our heart mind and soul and spirit, which is the first greatest commandment, also has some work that follows. Shown through service to God.


This is why the work we do is very important. When we work and God is not the center of it, our work becomes demonic. Think of criminals, thieves, drug dealers they “work” but their work brings harm, their work is not centered around God. Work that is not from God leads to oppression.

Human existence is filled with anxiety because of the competitive struggle to make a living. The two most common mental illnesses, depression, and anxiety, often keep us from working. A few signs of depression are losing interest and pleasure in doing things, even things you once enjoyed, lost of energy, oversleeping, and inability to complete basic human task. Often the more severe the depression, the more challenging it can be for them to keep a job.

Anxiety is often fear-based. Fear many times stops people from working in their true calling, from taking action. Fear of going after that promotion, going after that new career, being an entrepreneur.

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The danger of people not getting mentally healthy and healed from their depression and anxiety is it will keep you from working. It will keep you from enjoying this part of worship to God.

The enemy will do whatever he can to make you not work, he will do what he can to keep you from your purpose because in your purpose is part of your worship to God. Often, finding your purpose and living it can be what you need to alleviate your depression and anxiety.


If work is part of our worship it should feel like a privilege, not a burden. If work feels like a burden, then you may need to re-evaluate and ask yourself, who are you working for. If your mental health is keeping you from being able to find and live in a purposeful life, do not be afraid to seek help. There is joy to be found when one lives in their God giving purpose.

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