24 Bible Verses to Shine for God in the Workplace

Annie Yorty

Crosswalk Contributing Writer
Updated May 05, 2023
24 Bible Verses to Shine for God in the Workplace

Christians in the workplace have a choice. They can join the crowd of quiet quitters or acknowledge God on the job by following His plan for work. Christian employees have a wonderful opportunity to shine brightly for God. The Bible covers all aspects of life, including work. When we study God's Word, we find the origins and purpose of work. We also learn the proper attitude toward employment and warnings to heed.

When my daughter with Down Syndrome grew up, a job did not drop into her lap. She watched her typical friends go to work. In his teens, her younger sibling got a job. She longed to be like them, working and earning pay. Indeed, most people with intellectual disabilities find themselves excluded from the workplace. For years, Alyssa satisfied herself by taking responsibility within our home, but we all know that's not quite the same. Finally, she got a part-time job. I bet you can guess her favorite part of work. The paycheck! She also enjoys the satisfaction of a job well done.

In American culture, we've seen a cosmic shift in attitudes toward work. As recently as fifteen years ago, we taught youth the benefits of going above and beyond in the workplace. Do your best. Learn new skills. Be reliable. A strong work ethic will take you far.

These days, quiet quitting is fast becoming an employment norm. While employees don't actually quit, they do only the bare minimum to get by. In my experience, some folks have always had this attitude, but employers never catered to them. No one celebrated their lazy work ethic. However, these days, managers puzzle over how to persuade quiet quitters to improve their performance.

Business analysts estimate at least fifty percent of the workforce today falls into the category of quiet quitters.

Christians in the workplace have a choice. They can join the crowd of quiet quitters or acknowledge God on the job by following His plan for work. Christian employees have a wonderful opportunity to shine brightly for God. The Bible covers all aspects of life, including work. When we study God's Word, we find the origins and purpose of work. We also learn the proper attitude toward employment and warnings to heed.

Origin of Work

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God the Father, Son, and Spirit worked together to create the world. He provides the pattern for our work.

But Jesus replied, "My Father is always working, and so am I." (John 5:17 NLT)

After God finished making the world, He created people and gave them good work. The work consisted of managing the creation. 

Then God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground." (Genesis 1:28 NLT)

"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it." (Genesis 2:15 NLT)

God also exemplified the concept of periodically resting from work. 

"For all who have entered into God's rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world." (Hebrews 4:10)

People delighted in the work delegated to them by God. Then sin entered the world, and work became more difficult. It felt more like...work.

"And to the man he [God] said, "Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made." (Genesis 3:17-19 NLT)

Though work became more burdensome, God's purposes remained.

Purposes for Work

The verses from Genesis indicate God intends for people to provide for their physical needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter, through work. The New Testament corroborates this understanding.

Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: "Those unwilling to work will not get to eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT)

Though work is difficult, it will also bring joy to those who trust in God.

"How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be!" (Psalm 128:1-2 NLT)

God expects us to use the pay from our work to be generous to people in need.

"If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need." (Ephesians 4:28 NLT)

Ultimately, we should represent God in our work—and everything we do.

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT)

Attitudes Toward Work

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God provided work so we could feel satisfied with our productivity.

"So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God." (Ecclesiastes 2:24 NLT)

Apostle Paul's advice to servants in his culture applies to workers today. He tells us to respect the authority of our supervisors. We can offer respect no matter the circumstance because we hope for a reward far exceeding our present-day recompense.  

"Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ." (Colossians 3:22-24 NLT)

Our work for material needs should always take second place to God's eternal priorities.

"But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval." (John 6:27 NLT)

When we work for God, we can be assured all our work, no matter how menial, will be used by Him.

"So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." (1 Corinthians 15:58 NLT)

We should complete our work to the best of our ability and not worry about how we compare to others.

"Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won't need to compare yourself to anyone else." (Galatians 6:4 NLT)

In unjust work situations, our attitude should be that of Jesus as He went to the cross.

"We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us." (1 Corinthians 4:12 NLT)

As we work, we submit to the authority God placed over us.

"Slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. They must not talk back or steal, but must show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good. Then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way." (Titus 2:9-10)

Warnings about Work

God gave many pithy warnings, most of which compare the effects of laziness to the rewards of hard work. These proverbs are not promises, but we can follow them as general principles of wisdom to apply to our lives.

A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things. (Proverbs 18:9 NLT)

Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave. (Proverbs 12:24 NLT)

Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. (Proverbs 13:11 NLT)

Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty. (Proverbs 21:5 NLT)

Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper. (Proverbs 13:4 NLT)

Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich. (Proverbs 10:4 NLT)

Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people. (Proverbs 22:29)

Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty! (Proverbs 14:23 NLT)

Bible Verses for All Types of Work

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While many of these Bible verses focus on attitudes within a workplace, we can apply them to all types of work. Mothers who stay at home to raise children, full-time students, retired grandparents, and volunteers receive no monetary benefit for their work. Still, their labor is valued and directed by God. Even with no earthly pay, work done following God's principles will make you rich.

No Excuses

The boss over all our work is God. We cannot excuse quiet quitting by citing poor management. God is the perfect manager. We cannot say our work doesn't make a difference. God infuses meaning into every task. We cannot slack off because we're tired. God provides the energy we need to serve Him in every job.

A biblical attitude toward work is counter-cultural. For some, it always has been. Now, more than ever, we must seize the opportunity to shine for God by displaying His excellent work ethic.

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Writer Annie YortyAnnie Yorty writes and speaks to encourage others to perceive God’s person, presence, provision, and purpose in the unexpected twists and turns of life. Married to her high school sweetheart and living in Pennsylvania, she mothers a teen, two adult children (one with intellectual disabilities), and a furry beast labradoodle. She has written From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down SyndromePlease connect with her at http://annieyorty.com/, Facebook, and Instagram.