In ancient Greek and Roman cultures, slaves worked and freemen did not. Strenuous and backbreaking work was seen as beneath the dignity of free people and therefore expected of slaves.
The ancient Jewish world answered that with a work ethic flowing from their relationship with God. The Israelites learned that God himself worked – the loving Father worked “for seven days” bringing to life all that exists. Moreover, God’s creation was both a gift and a task. God’s creation was to be valued, developed, and worked to meet the needs of everyone in the community. All work contributing to the good of all contained its own dignity and worth. There was no shame in hard work; rather work was honorable and honored. Read more