I came home from work exhausted and fell asleep, after working my job at a retail store all day. It was a Sunday, a day which many Christians reserve for rest, reflection, and going to church. Is it sinful to work on Sunday if a job requires it? Before answering that question consider the following:
1) Some jobs, just by their very nature, require one to work on weekends, like doctors and nurses, law enforcement, fire fighters, and in my case, retail businesses. There are many dedicated Christians in these and other professions that require working on church days, yet without it their income and family needs would go unmet.
2) People who must work on these days can still have times of fellowship and worship on Wednesday evenings or in small groups. And every Christian needs to have a daily time in the Bible.
3) Do not use I Timothy 5:8 to justify working on Sundays: “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” It has nothing to do with working a regular job. The context is taking care of widows.
Now, let’s answer the question. I am by no means justifying working on Sunday, and believe that every Christian should be actively involved in a local church, but what is more important, giving up church or sacrificing family income? God understands. He knows we must provide for our families and that jobs are not always easy to come by. If we hold out for a job in line with our interests, training, and abilities, that also gives us weekends off, it may be a long time coming. People need to be happy in their jobs or professions.
Jesus was not opposed to working on the “Sabbath,” under certain conditions. He healed people on that day but was criticized for it. He taught that if a neighbor’s horse falls into a ditch on that day that help should be given.
If you are a person who has to work on Sunday and miss church, it would be well to seek another job in line with your income requirement and abilities. But if that simply is not possible, remember that God still loves you. Don’t allow any other Christian to lay a guilt trip on you. You can still be actively involved in a church in many other ways. I have to miss church a lot, but still have a ministry of speaking and writing. God is using my life to proclaim his message of hope, healing, and salvation to people at my local mission, and all around the world. You can always have a ministry even if you can’t attend church.
If you have a job that requires you to miss church, what are some other ways you can be involved in the Body of Christ?