The Blessing of Having Much to Do
IS HAVING much to do a blessing? How can that be? some may ask. Does not the Bible tell us that work is a curse that God placed upon man? Unfortunately that is one of the popular misconceptions about the Bible that is held by some who profess to understand it.
Thus Professor W. R. Bowie, in commenting on Genesis 3:17-19, states: “Work is represented as the curse laid upon Adam and his descendants. To have to work . . . seemed to the human instinct to be the mark of punishment. . . . The men who shaped the traditions which have come down in Genesis were here trying to interpret experience and the good and bad they found in it. The necessity of labor was something they did not like; so they regarded it as evil. It felt like punishment, so they concluded that it was punishment.”—The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. 1, p. 511.
After Adam had disobeyed, God said to him: “Cursed is the ground on your account. . . . In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken.” The ground was cursed, but is work itself a curse?—Gen. 3:17-19.
Man, when first created and perfect, was given work to do. “Jehovah God proceeded to take the man and settle him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to take care of it.” This garden of Eden was a vast park, large enough to accommodate some of all the species of land animals that God created, for Adam named them all without leaving Eden. To take care of such a large park and cultivate it meant work. But it was not grievous, backbreaking labor. It was a joy. Such work was not a curse.—Gen. 2:15.
That this is the right conclusion can be seen from the rest of the Holy Scriptures. They tell us to do with our very power what our hands find to do, for in the grave we can no longer work. (Eccl. 9:10) The lazy one “will be of little means,” the Bible says, “but the hand of the diligent one is what will make one rich.” (Prov. 10:4) We are warned that the lazy one “is a brother to the one causing ruin,” chief of whom is none other than Satan himself! (Prov. 18:9) Well did King Solomon say: “I have come to know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good during one’s life; and also that every man should eat and indeed drink and see good for all his hard work. It is the gift of God.”—Eccl. 3:12, 13.
Jesus Christ, when upon earth, stated that his Father kept on working and that he also worked. (John 5:17) And repeatedly the apostle Paul counseled others to work as well as telling of his own labors: “Do not loiter at your business. Be aglow with the spirit.” “Let the stealer steal no more, but rather let him do hard work, doing with his hands what is good work, that he may have something to distribute to someone in need.”—Rom. 12:11; Eph. 4:28; 2 Cor. 11:27.
Among the blessings of having much to do is that it helps to keep us out of trouble. This principle is supported by the words of the apostle Paul that young widows should marry and rear children because having much to do would be a safeguard to them.—1 Tim. 2:15; 5:14.
Having much to do is also a blessing in that it helps to make time fly by fast. This is a fact especially appreciated by those retired because of their age. Without having anything to do or having too little to do they are apt to become frustrated, bored.
And it should especially be observed that having much to do is also a blessing in that with it goes the satisfaction of having accomplished much. But, of course, it is taken for granted that the work here being considered is honorable, honest toil. Those who work at robbing, cheating or otherwise selfishly exploiting others cannot expect any blessings from having much of such things to do, however much they may at the time benefit materially from it!
It may well be said that no group today is busier than the Christian witnesses of Jehovah, They do much private Bible study, attend five weekly congregation meetings and spend much time each month preaching the good news of God’s kingdom and making disciples of people, in addition to making honest provision of material things for themselves and their families. (Matt. 24:14; 28:19, 20) Having plenty to do in the Lord’s work serves as a protection from many of the snares of the world, the flesh and the Devil. They also have the joy and satisfaction of bringing honor to Jehovah’s name and bringing comfort to mourning truth-seekers. And they have the promise of the reward of eternal life.—1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Cor. 8:21; 1 Tim. 5:8.
Should you visit an average congregation of these Witnesses and get acquainted with them you would find that they are truly a happy people. You would also likely discover that the happiest among them are those having the most to do in preaching and teaching God’s Word to others. This is bound to bring many blessings, for there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.—Acts 20:35.
Not that the Witnesses are fanatics or extremists. They are reasonable. In particular, family men with positions of responsibility in the congregation are careful to be balanced in these matters. They recognize their responsibility to spend time with their families. They let their families share in their activities as much as possible, and especially do they make certain to study the Bible together. They also see to it that recreation is a family affair.
Can the Bible be charged with terming work a curse? Absolutely not! Is there blessing in having much to do? Yes, there is, if we are doing the right kind of work and balancing it with our other needs and the needs of our loved ones.