Readers Choice Nominees 2023

The Witness of Hard Work in a Time of Quiet Quitting

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It seems each day another video goes viral of one of my fellow Gen Zers lamenting his or her workload. These videos have consistent messages, “I have too much on my plate,” “I can’t be expected to do all of this,” or “how can anyone manage all this?” Perhaps there is some merit to the workload imbalance of college students who also have to work to provide for themselves or their families. However, a much different theme is working itself out in these viral videos.

The cultural moment right now does not emphasize hard work. Right now the videos that go viral trend with words like “quiet quitting,” “act your wage,” and “work-life balance.” Too often, “work-life balance” has resulted in work-life imbalance. The current cultural moment is telling young people that hard work is archaic, a thing our grandparents did to their detriment. Christians need to recognize this cultural moment and provide a witness to it through a strong work ethic and time management.

A Theology of Hard Work and Time Management

Work six days and rest on the seventh. That was God’s prescription for the Israelites based on his own example in creation (Gen. 2:2-3, Ex. 20:8-11). The Sabbath was a calendar keeping system, but it was also God’s design for human work and rest. God’s desire for Israel was for them to work hard and have a dedicated day(s) off. God knew the best thing for those in His image was to work hard, as He had, and to rest, as He had.

Hard work was not invented post-Industrial Revolution. Throughout Scripture God’s people are commanded to work hard. “Go to the ant, O sluggard, consider her ways and be wise” (Prov. 6:6). Likewise, scripture commands God’s people to manage their time well.

  • “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Eph. 5:15-16).
  • “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” (Col. 4:5).

Time management is rooted in hard work. The days are “evil,” Paul warned. It is easy to waste our days and not do the work God has given us. Time management and hard work are Christian ethics rooted in daily evil and the inevitability of death. “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,” the psalmist wrote (Ps. 90:12). Number your days, take an account of how you spend your time, because sin wants you to waste each day until you die having lived an unproductive life. For those in Christ, you are called to work hard. As Paul explained, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col. 3:23-24).

Christians need to recognize this cultural moment and provide a witness to it through a strong work ethic and time management.

The Christian Witness Through Hard Work

In this cultural moment of work-life (im)balance, your hard work “as to the Lord” serves as a witness to the gospel. Much like a Christian employee who refuses to steal from his company or act in other unethical ways, hard work provides those in your office or workplace with a witness to Christ and the Christian life. When you work hard and strive to do the best job for your employer, you will stand out from most of your coworkers. We live in the age of “quiet quitting” and work-from-home Netflix binges. The Christian work ethic sticks out like a sore thumb in most workplaces.

Likewise, students who work hard to do all their reading, complete their assignments, and attend all their classes will stand out. Your Christian work ethic in your schoolwork will allow you to witness to your professors and classmates. This witness only increases if you are a student who also works a job. Hard work pays off, not simply in pay increases or recognition, but more importantly in witness to the God of the Universe.

God’s Glory During Evil Days

We Christians don’t work “for the man”; we work to bring God glory. Paul commended hard work to the Colossians, saying, “work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Col. 3:23). This brings to mind 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” The days are evil, yes, but you can work hard and bring God glory. You will be a witness to the gospel when you work hard, and you will likewise honor God by working hard. God is not glorified when we are “sluggards.” God is glorified in our hard work that we do in worship to Him.

Remember, dear Christian, you have been brought from darkness to light by God’s work in salvation. You are now a citizen of heaven, a child of God, a brother or sister with Christ, and an heir to the Kingdom. Your identity has changed, so now has your relationship to work. You can work hard now because you no longer work simply for your boss; you work for your Father in heaven. Work hard for Him, bring Him glory, be witness to the gospel, be countercultural.


Work-life balance is a Christian ethic. We are called to manage our souls and our families well. The hard-working Christian ought not to sacrifice his or her family, nor sacrifice his or her time with the Lord. But the Christian is distinctly called to work hard in their vocation for the glory of God. God labored for six days and rested from His work. God has left us a good design for work-life balance: work hard and rest. That will apply differently to each individual, but the call from God is the same: work hard for His glory and name’s sake.

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  • Readers Choice Nominees 2023
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Alan Patrick

Alan currently serves as the Senior Pastor of the Glenrock Baptist Church in Fort Mill, SC. He is a graduate of the College at Southeastern and is currently pursuing his M.Div. from SEBTS as well. Alan’s desire is to see others experience the true freedom of the gospel and the joy of obedience to Christ.

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