8. Sin

  1. No matter how beautiful, blessed, or great a privilege work might be, it is blemished with sins, steeped in evil, and subject to God’s curse. Work is both a blessing and a curse.132
  2. Because of the Fall, work has been disrupted and our works have been violated and broken. Where there is work, there is sin; it is inescapable and unavoidable.
  3. Work. goes hand-in-hand with struggle, stress, and setbacks. With frustration, pain, and sorrow. Work fails, degenerates, and backfires. People get stuck, exhausted, and burned out or even die.
  4. Wherever people work, there will soon be inequality and injustice, lovelessness and cruelty, opportunism and selfishness, materialism and nihilism, self-promotion and self-glorification.
  5. What we make is subject to decay and ruin, destruction and annihilation, and abhorrence and oblivion.
  6. We are, in our work, flawed and imperfect, and even full of weaknesses and tendencies to evil. We are a vessel full of contradictions and susceptible to corrupt influences.
  7. It is blasphemous and foolish to think that we can do our work without God. Godless work comes from the desire to depend only on ourselves in our work and to work only for ourselves and our immediate neighbors. Devout work is the willingness to depend on God’s guidance in our work and the will to be a blessing to all the people with and for whom we work.
  8. Where we work, the devil works. The devil is our greatest opponent at work. He is out to take over with hostility, to make himself our boss, to make our work an idol, and to turn us away from God. The devil tries to bring us down through temptations. If we consider doing evil in our work, the devil is already in us. The devil tries to distort God’s call in our work. When we invite Jesus into our work, the devil closes in. Therefore, work is fighting against the devil. And good works are victories over the devil.
  9. Sin is opposing God and working alone without God. Sin is also profiting from the sins of others or inciting others to sin. It is also sin when we misuse God: misusing Him to gain prestige, earn money, and make a career.133
  10. If we use another’s sin to justify our own, we only worsen both our sin and that of the other. We cannot use the sins of another to justify our own. Surely God does not use our sins to justify His own sinning either. On the contrary, He remains without any sin despite our countless sins.

Coping with sin

  1. Even though there is so much sin in our work, we should know that God wants us to come to Him with it. The sin in our work should not take us further from God, but rather closer. God does not expect us to work sinlessly in this sinful world. He does expect us to come to Him with our sins. God accepts our imperfect work.
  2. Even though we must deal with so many sins in our work, we should know that these are references to God’s goodness and greatness and to our badness and weakness. Sins are the result of our fall and yet God has given us a second chance. Our sins in our work make us aware of our dependence on God. All lovelessness in our work brings us to God’s love, all injustices to His justice, all unfaithfulness to His faithfulness. We need not become cynical from all the sins, but we may long for God even more.
  3. Even though we face so much wickedness in the work, we should know that God is still present. God is everywhere and especially where we need Him.134 God is present in our workplace; more than this, God is at work in our workplace.135 He is always with us wherever we work.
  4. Even though we face so many temptations in our workplace, we should know that a firm faith in God resists them.136 Evil can be resisted by deriving satisfaction from what is good, the Good. Evil can be resisted by knowing that God is not only looking over our shoulders but is also fighting along with us.
  5. Even though our work is so bad, we should know that God can turn it around for the better. God uses our brokenness to save us and others. God can work on us even when we are unfaithful to Him. Only God knows if brokenness comes into work because of our faith or the lack of it. From faith we may know that God purifies, cleanses, and restores our broken works. We take with us the scars and wounds we suffer in our work to eternity, where God will heal them.
  6. Even though not every job is blessed by God, we should know that He can still bless the work it involves. However, if in our work we do not have the space to follow Jesus Christ and we cannot create or claim this space, then we should seriously consider seeking other work.
  7. Even though we work in a sinful environment, we should know that God may still want us to continue working there. Our responsibility to do what we can to help others and reduce evil seems more important to God than our responsibility to remain morally pure.137 Detaching ourselves from sin should not cause us to stop doing good works.
  8. Even though the sins in our work environment may be very threatening, we should know that these sins provide opportunities to bring God’s goodness. If everything around us were perfect, we would not be able to make a difference. Any badness in our work is an invitation to do good works.
  9. Even though our work is transient, we should know that all that is for God’s glory endure. Good works last into eternity.
  10. Even though we fear that evil will win in our work, we should know that the goodness of God conquers.138 Evil, no matter how strong and great, always draws the short straw in the long run.
  11. Even though others are very sinful in their work, we need not become envious or callous, for we should know that God judges every sin.
  12. Even though we keep committing sins in our work, we should know that God offers us a new opportunity every working day. God does ask us to learn from our sins each time. Learning from our sins is getting to know ourselves and God better.
  13. Even though we make our hands dirty in our work, we should know that Jesus Christ wants to wash our dirty hands.

  1. Genesis 3:17-19
  2. Exodus 20:7, Deuteronomy 5:11
  3. John 21:1-14, Hebrews 13:5-6
  4. Psalm 139:1-3
  5. Matthew 6:13, 1 Corinthians 10:13, 2 Thessalonians 3:3
  1. 1 Kings 18
  2. John 16:33, Romans 12:17-21


  1. Do I consider work a curse? Do I consider my work a curse? Why or why not? (#1)
  2. How often do I curse during my work and/or about my work? Have I ever cursed my work? (#1)
  3. Which specific sins are present in my work environment? (#2-5, #9 and #10)
  4. How would I describe my own imperfection/sinfulness in my work? (#6)
  5. What are the temptations (forbidden fruits) in my work environment? Which temptations am I especially susceptible to? Do I dare to put these temptations on paper or even discuss them with others and God? If so, have I done so already? (#6)
  6. How often do I work without God? (#7)
  7. How does the devil manifest himself in my work? (#8)
  8. Do I consider the devil as my biggest adversary in my work? (#8)
  9. How do I cope with sin in my work? (#11-23)
  10. Which of the described ways of dealing with sin in work appeal to me? (#11-23)
  11. Which of the described ways of coping with sin in work will I use more from now on? What does this mean specifically? (#11-23)
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