The Blessing of Work
An article specially designed for parents to read with their children
WHICH would you rather do, work or play? It’s true that we all enjoy playing. But would it really be good if we played all the time? Have you ever thought what would happen if no one ever worked? Let’s think about it for a moment.
Look at the clothes you have on. Do you know where they came from? They were probably made from the wool of an animal or the cotton that grows from the ground. But if people didn’t work to make wool and cotton into clothes, you wouldn’t have anything to wear. So aren’t you glad that people work to make clothes?
Think about the food you eat. Do you know where it comes from? Most of it grows from small plants and large trees. But if no one cared for them and picked the fruits and vegetables that they produce, what would you eat? Isn’t it good that people work so that you have food to eat?
Look around the home in which you live. Do you have a bed to sleep in? Are there chairs on which to sit and also a table? Aren’t you glad someone worked to make these things?
How did Jesus, the Great Teacher, feel about work? Let’s see.
Mary’s husband Joseph was a carpenter. He made things out of wood. And he raised Jesus as his own son. That’s why the Bible calls Jesus “the carpenter’s son.” In those days a young boy would work with his father. He would learn to do the same jobs his father did. So Jesus no doubt worked with Joseph.—Matt. 13:55.
It may have been hard at first. But with years of practice, he learned to do it well. The Bible tells us that Jesus became a carpenter too.—Mark 6:3.
Do you think this work brought Jesus pleasure? Would you be happy if you could make fine tables and chairs and other things for people to use? You can get great pleasure from work. The Bible says it’s good for one to “rejoice in his works.” Work gives a kind of pleasure that you cannot get from play. It’s not wrong to play, but it’s not good to play all the time.—Eccl. 3:22.
Jesus did not work as a carpenter all his life. Jehovah God had special work for him to do on earth. Do you know what that work was? Jesus said: “I must declare the good news of the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent forth.” Yes, God had a preaching work for Jesus to do.—Luke 4:43.
How did Jesus feel about doing this work? Did he want to do it?
Jesus said: “My food is for me to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.” How much do you like to eat your favorite food? This gives you an idea of how much Jesus liked the work that God gave him. That work was a blessing to him, just as it is a blessing to eat when you are hungry.—John 4:34.
Since Jesus found pleasure in working, do you think that you can find pleasure in working too? I am sure you can. When you learn to do a job well, then it can bring you real pleasure.
God made us so that we are happy when we learn to work. He says that it is his gift to man that he should “rejoice in his hard work.” So, if you learn to work when you are young, your whole life will be more enjoyable.—Eccl. 5:19.
That does not mean that a young child can do the work of a big man, but we can all do some work. Your father works day after day so that we will have food to eat and a home in which to live. Do you know what kind of work your father does? He doesn’t work just for himself. He works for the good of the whole family. And your mother works to prepare our meals. She keeps our home and our clothing clean.
What work is there that you can do that will be a blessing to the whole family? You can help to set the table, wipe the dishes, clean your room and pick up your toys. Perhaps you already do some of those things. Is that work really a blessing?
Let’s take just one example: Putting away your toys after you play. Why would you say that is important? It helps to make the house neat. It is also important because it can prevent accidents. If you don’t pick up your toys, your mother may come along someday with her arms full and step on one of them. She may trip and fall and crack her head. She may even have to go to the hospital. Wouldn’t that be terrible? So, when you put away your toys after you play, that is a blessing to all of us.
There is other work that children have too. I am thinking of schoolwork. At school you learn how to read. Some children find reading to be fun, but some say it is hard. Even if it seems hard at first, you will be glad if you learn to read well. When you know how to read, there are so many interesting things that you can learn. Reading opens up great treasures of knowledge. You will even be able to read God’s own book, the Bible, for yourself! So, when you do your schoolwork well, it is really a blessing, isn’t it?
There are some people who try to avoid work. Maybe you know someone who does that. But since God made us to work, do you think that people of that sort are happy? No; we need to learn how to enjoy work.
Here are some things that can help. When you are given any work to do, make it a habit to figure out why it needs to be done. When you know why something is important, it is easier to do it. And whether the work seems to be big or little, do a good job of it. If you do that, you will be able to rejoice in the work of your hands. Then you will know from your own experience that work really is a blessing.
“Look! The best thing that I myself have seen, which is pretty, is that one should eat and drink and see good for all his hard work with which he works hard.”—Eccl. 5:18.