Dignity of work

Definition of work

(2 Thessalonians 3:12, Genesis 2:1-3, 2:15)


- Work is an effort directed towards doing or making something.

- It is the use of physical strength or mental power to do something.

  • It is one of the most important aspects of human life.
  • Paul the apostle in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 tells christians why it is important to work and urges them to work hard.
  • God himself started the idea of work. He worked to create all things but on the seventh day he rested.
  • God placed man in the Garden of Eden and told him to work there.
  • God expects us to work even today.
  • For us to live and eat, we must work.

Examples of work

  • Children can do work like
  • Cleaning their classrooms.
  • Digging small farms both at home and in school.
  • Reading so that they can pass their exams.
  • Learning skills at school and at home such as cooking and sewing.

Reasons why people work today and in the Traditional African society

- People do various types of work in their daily lives.
- Work is as important in modern society as it was in the traditional African society.

Why people worked in the Traditional African Society.

- In the traditional African society, work was respected.
- Boys and girls had specific roles. 

People worked so that:

  • They could have enough food.
  • They could have many animals.
  • They could give the family a good name or for popularity.
  • They could be considered for leadership positions.
  • They could show they were capable of taking good care of their families.

Why people work today

  • Pupils work hard in school so as to pass their exams and get good jobs.
  • We work in obedience to God’s word.
  • We work to share duties so that we do not overburden others.
  • We work for the benefit of our country to provide food, keep it clean and so on.
  • Parents work to provide basic needs for their children like food, shelter and clothing.
  • Parents also work in order to pay school fees for their children.
  • Work helps people develop their talents.
  • Work also helps people earn more money and property.

Reasons why God wants us to work

(John 4:40 - 44, 5:17, Romans 12:6 - 8)


  • Since we are followers of Christ and He worked, we should also work for the benefit of others.
  • God has given us different gifts to do different work. In Romans 12:6-8, we are told that we should work according to the gifts that each one of us has.
  • God created us for a purpose, so we should not be lazy.
  • Work enables us to find out what our talents are and utilise them well.
  • When we work we obey God and He is happy with us.
  • Working is service to God.

Division of work at home

(1 Thessalonians 4:11 - 12, 2 Thessalonians 3:10 - 12, Colossians 3:23)


  • Division of work is the sharing of duties that need to be completed.
  • Sharing work makes it lighter, easier and faster to finish.
  • It is good therefore for family members to share work at home.
  • Because God made us equal, work should also be divided equally.
  • When sharing work we should consider the abilities, gifts and age of each family member.

Why share work?

  • Work that can be shared includes cooking, washing utensils, digging in the shamba, cleaning clothes and the house and looking after the animals.
  • Sharing work brings love, unity and happiness in a family.
  • When we share work, we are working for the Lord.
  • All of us should work. 2 Thessalonians 8:10- 12 tells us that whoever refuses to work should not eat.

God discourages laziness in people.

As Christians we should live orderly lives and work to earn our living.

Forms of child labour 

(2 Kings 5:2)


  • Labour: This is work, especially hard physical work.
  • Child: A person of less than 18 years of age.
  • Child labour: Hard physical work given to a child.
  • In our society today, young children are doing heavy work, which is sometimes dangerous to them.
  • These forms of labour that can be dangerous to children include:

- Working as house helps, working in plantations, looking after other young children, cleaning and cooking for families, brick making, fishing, wood and soapstone carving, hawking things like milk and food and charcoal burning.

  • Children engage in child labour because:

a) Some children are trying to escape poverty.

b) Some parents need that extra source of income.

c) Some children work to get money to feed themselves and their siblings if they lack adult guardians.

  • Children should, however, be allowed to grow well.

Effects of child labour

(Acts 16:16)


  • Children spend a lot of time working and have no time to play or make friends.
  • Children fail to go to school.
  • They look weak due to the little food they receive and may fall sick because of the heavy and dangerous work that they do.
  • Some children are not paid for the work they do.
  • Some are poorly paid yet an adult should be doing the work they do.
  • Children are sometimes harassed, beaten and sexually abused.
  • Some girls become pregnant and end up with no one to guide them in their new role as parents. This may harm both the baby and new mother.
  • Other children take to the streets if they find the conditions at their workplaces are unbearable.
  • Children engage in irresponsible behaviour like drug abuse and prostitution.

Working in the community

(2 Thessalonians 3:6 - 13)


  • We have teachers, doctors, policemen, watchmen, farmers, nurses, chiefs, sub-chiefs and many other people working for the community.
  • There are different types of work done in the community for example building schools and bridges, making trenches and cattle dips and so on.
  • One person cannot do such work, it requires a group of people.
  • Group work brings people together. It keeps community members united.
  • Such work also makes community members organised. Group work promotes community development.
  • God encourages us to work, for whatever we do ends up helping all the members of the community.
  • In 2 Thessalonians 3:6-13 we are told to work and toil day and night so that we don’t become a burden to others.