My students are reading a book I was assigned at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in the doctoral program. The book is by Timothy Keller and it is called Every Good Endeavor. The Amazon summary of the book reads:
With deep conviction and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about work today. In fact, the Christian view of work—that we work to serve others, not ourselves—can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship—not just of self-interest.
The original married couple were assigned work before the Fall of mankind. Work is meant to be a shared delight in a marriage. It is not the drudgery of the typical honey-do list or chores. The joy is that we join in a vocation. Vocation comes from the Latin vocare which means to call or to summon. Work is created by the God who calls us to action. It has dignity.
In our economic system, worth is attributed by salary not by calling. A higher salary calls more loudly to the fresh college graduate than the voice of God. To what has God called you? How has God wired you? Are you using the unique gifts with which God has equipped you?
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
As we choose our work, let us listen to your voice calling us. Once we choose our work, let us see beyond the paycheck to its deeper purpose. Let us seek to serve others through our vocation rather than focus on how our job serves us.
- Why does mankind work?
- What do you think was Adam’s attitude to work?
- What attitude to work does the Bible advocate?
- How do you think theologically about work?
- If you worked the job called called you to do, what would that be?