What comes to mind when you see or hear this word? Some might say that work is synonymous with your job. Some might even say it’s a higher vocation or professional designation. Others would consider it their calling or the product of their efforts, creativity, and intelligence.
Work, in simple terms, has often been called the punishment to man from God as a result of what is often known as the Fall. However, work in and of itself was not a curse. God’s very nature is work. Whether you are a believer or not, you surely have heard that God “worked” for 6 days during Creation.
So, if God is a worker, and Man was truly created in His image, it’s evident that work and productivity is in our DNA. In fact, God put Adam and Eve to work as caregivers and stewards of the Earth and its resources while in the Garden of Eden.
This was the discussion in last week’s Maximizers, as David Dickinson introduced the group to some of the concepts behind his research project called The Theology of Work. These concepts were presented in an outline, as David is preparing to launch the next phase of his project: writing the book!
David’s outline covered his idea of the Theology of Work as it applies to economics (ownership, employment, profit, competition, etc.) and practice(purpose, calling, ethics, faith in the workplace, etc.), as well as the 4 convictions that have prompted this topic
- There is no secular versus sacred distinction
- a. What we do all of the time is what we do for Go
- Work is intrinsically good and in itselfglorifying to God
- No matter the vocation, God is glorified when we pursue excellence in what we do
- Work is a calling
- All work is good, and we are called to work – like our Creator
- Workers are simultaneously made in the image of God – and they are sinners
- God cares more about HOW we do business rather than WHAT we do (with a few exceptions, of course)
We spent a fair amount of time discussing each of these convictions. In God’s economy, are there any callings that are higher than others? We discussed the common assumption that pastors and missionaries have a higher calling than other workers. Are they of a higher calling than the people who serve, feed, and provide shelter for them?
So there it is… it’s an exciting outline, to say the least. We may have opportunities over the next couple of months to debate more of these ideas as David moves deeper into writing this book.
What are your thoughts on the word “work” as it relates to purpose and calling? Do you believe you are doing what you are called to?