I have a friend who is starting a new enterprise for the purpose of blessing the poor and marginalized through work. His passion and action makes me reflect on the meaning of work.
Tim Keller in his book “Every good endeavor” writes, “We are not to choose jobs and conduct our work to fulfill ourselves and accrue power, for being called by Go to do something is empowering enough. We are to see work as a way of service to God and our neighbor, and so we should both choose and conduct our work in accordance with that purpose.”
He also writes;
“If the point of work is to serve and exalt ourselves, then our work inevitably becomes less bout the work and more about us. Our aggressiveness will eventually become abuse, our drive will become burnout, and our self-sufficiency will become self-loathing. But if the purpose of work is to serve and exalt something beyond ourselves, then we actually have a better reason to deploy our talent, ambition, and entrepreneurial vigor – and we are more likely to be successful in the long run, even by the world’s definition.”
We come across these thought provoking articles but in many cases cannot put them in practice. Our dilemma is often “when?” “I need to raise my family, I need to pay for my kid’s education, and we put more emphasis on making money. I will shift to more meaningful things later. I will focus from success to significance later in life.”
This is saying “I will take care of my life now. God, please take care of me when I am self sufficient.” or “I will build my platform first, then please use me.”
These make sense in purely worldly way of thinking but is very much in contradiction to what the bible says. Jesus said, “who ever finds life will lose it. And whoever loses ones life for my sake will find it”
If we truly believe in what Jesus said, shouldn’t work be a journey to know more about God? Is one of the purpose of work to experience how faithful God is when we do what he says? Won’t he bless the work of our hands when we truly give work over to God?
I am excited to see how God will use my friend as he takes steps to put the meaning of work as the bible writes. I want to experience God’s greatness with him.