Updated: Feb 25
"Work hard, play hard." Few sentiments are more engrained in the American consciousness where work itself is often seen as a necessary evil, a disappointing prerequisite to eating, drinking, and being merry.
Theologian Dru Johnson calls this "the leisurist's lie" and explains how Jesus' petition "Give us this day our daily bread" upholds a high view of both work and play – and rest.
When Jesus includes the provision of daily bread in His model of prayer, He teaches us to ask for both food and the work it takes to produce it. The leisurist’s lie is that we work to gain more free time. But Scripture teaches that work is good, even if toilsome. Work connects us to creation. It grounds our airy ideologies. It forges community. It exhausts us and sweetens our rest. Work fosters innovation. It produces the food that provides calories to keep us from starving. Even though the nature of work has shifted away from manual labor and subsistence farming, our work still produces things and God still requires us to trust Him to provide our daily bread.
Read "Neither Work nor Leisure Provides 'Our Daily Bread" over at The Center for Hebraic Thought. For more from Dru Johnson, check out his brilliant (yet ill-titled) little book Scripture's Knowing: A Companion to Biblical Epistemology.