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Although the Bible is an ancient book, its principles are timeless. What it has to say about work is as relevant today as it was when the Bible was written.

What is the proper view of work?


To survive in a competitive job market, you have to put your work ahead of everything else. That attitude has caused some to become so consumed with their job that they neglect their family and their health.


The Bible promotes a balanced view of work. It praises industriousness and condemns laziness. (Proverbs 6:6-11; 13:4) At the same time, the Bible does not endorse workaholism. Rather, it encourages us to enjoy reasonable periods of relaxation. Ecclesiastes 4:6 says: “Better is a handful of rest than two handfuls of hard work and chasing after the wind.” So we should not become so wrapped up in our work that we neglect our family or our health. There is no merit in working ourselves to death!

“There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and find enjoyment in his hard work.”​Ecclesiastes 2:24.

Does it matter what kind of work you do?


If the pay is good, the work is good. That thinking, combined with the lure of easy money, has led some people to engage in dishonest business practices and even to take on employment that is illegal.

Others, fed with the ‘follow your dream’ and ‘do what you love’ philosophies, will accept only work that is constantly stimulating. If their job is not their “calling” in life or if it gives them anything less than an adrenaline rush, they consider it boring. As a result, they have a negative view of their work and exert only enough initiative to get by. They may even turn down good job opportunities because they feel that the work involved is beneath their dignity.


The Bible does not approve of work that is dishonest or that contributes to harming people in any way. (Leviticus 19:11, 13; Romans 13:10) Good work benefits others and helps the worker “maintain a good conscience.”​—1 Peter 3:16.

The Bible also teaches that work serves a noble purpose​—not primarily to give self-fulfillment but to make a living and support one’s family. While it is certainly not wrong to enjoy our secular work, it should be a means to an end​—not an end in itself.

“My dad is very busy. Besides his secular job, he has responsibilities in the congregation we attend as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Yet, my dad has a good work ethic. He gets done what he needs to do, and he still has time left over for me, my sister, and my mom. My dad always has things to do, but he keeps it all in balance.”​—Alannah.

True, inflation and rising prices can make us anxious about how we will make ends meet, but the Bible emphasizes moderation. It states: “Having food and clothing, we will be content with these things.” (1 Timothy 6:8) Those words do not require that we become ascetics. But we should be realistic about what we can afford and reasonable about the number of possessions we acquire.​—Luke 12:15.


Be industrious at your work. Take a real interest in it. Even if what you do seems menial or is not the type of work you feel you were born for, endeavor to become skillful at it. Industrious work leads to a sense of accomplishment, and developing your skill might actually increase your job satisfaction.

At the same time, be balanced. Enjoy occasional rest and relaxation. These periods are even more enjoyable after we have worked diligently. Also, by earning our necessities, we build a sense of self-worth and win the respect of others​—including our family.​—2 Thessalonians 3:12.

“Never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to wear?’ . . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”​Matthew 6:31, 32.