The past fifteen years has provided Christian readers with a blessed increase in literature on the doctrine of work. This growth in resources is a welcome development because it appears that for some time now, the doctrine of work has become a matter of tertiary importance–if not insignificance–among evangelicals.
However it developed, it seems that the default attitude among Christians with whom I have associated over the years (as I’ve held membership in churches in Montana, Southern California, Northern California, and Kentucky) is that work no longer a joyful calling but a mere means to an end. “Spiritual” endeavors like evangelism, pastoral ministry, missions, Bible study, and other church-related activities are the aspects of life that God really cares about. Work? It just pays the bills so that we could pursue the stuff that truly matters. (See my reflections here on a recent parenting book that appears to imbibe this kind of attitude.) This neglect of the doctrine of work is ironic, however, because evangelicals are the theological heirs of Reformation and the reformers’ robust teaching on the inherent goodness of all work. Continue reading “The Doctrine of Work: Some Recent Titles (And an Old One, Too)”
How does a Christian cultivate joy in Christ when he or she is laboring in a job that is occasionally unfulfilling? This is a question over which many Christians will struggle at some point during their pilgrimage. Whether you are in a job that is outside your field of expertise or interest, or you’re in a line of work that does not readily appear to lead to other opportunities that match your career goals, you might be someone who, despite your faith in Christ, wrestles with nagging sense of dissatisfaction. Continue reading “When Your Work is Unfulfilling”
Over the past several years of my Christian life I have found that regular reading through the Proverbs is an immediately useful practice. For one thing, I am brought face-to-face with the sluggard. As I read and linger over passages that speak of the lazy man, my own heart is exposed and I am convicted of my tendency toward idleness and sloth. But the Spirit often uses these practical insights to exhort me to again renew my commitment, by grace, to redeem the time for Christ’s sake. In order to help us recognize and repent of our own laziness, I would like to examine briefly eight traits of the sluggard. Continue reading “8 Traits of The Sluggard”
In what is an otherwise a fine book on parenting, author Steve Wright, in an attempt to challenge dads to greater commitment in discipling their children, makes a comment that I fear reflects what many of us Christian married folk think about our work.
I often hear dads say, “Steve, I agree with what you are saying, and I wish I had more time to do some of the things you are talking about, but my job…” This is where I usually cut them off. God has given a job description to us, and there is no escape clause even for dads who work a certain amount of hours. You see, our career isn’t really our job. Our career puts food on the table and keeps the lights on so that we can do our real job. Our real job is laid our clearly in the Word. In case you don’t have this job description, you may want to print it and keep it in front of you (ApParent Privilege, 146).
On the following page, Wright gives the following three facets of a dad’s job description. They are to (1) love the Lord with everything they’ve got; (2) love and lead their bride; (3) love and teach their children. Continue reading “Equipping Men with a Robust Doctrine of Work”
I love mornings. I do not love the sound of the alarm, or having to pull myself out of bed after several nights of minimal sleep, but for the most part, I look forward to mornings. I started to notice an affection for this part of the day when I moved from Los Angeles to San Jose, California in order to take a job as a Director of Middle School Ministries at a church in the South Bay.
Every morning during the week and on Sundays, I would wake up, shower, eat breakfast, and head off to work. I loved it. Granted, this is not headline-making news. What is remarkable, however, is during the days in which I did not have work—holidays, vacation days—and I was at home lounging around, watching television and cruising the Internet, I found I was far less satisfied indulging in laziness than I was by putting in a hard day’s work.
Continue reading “The Goodness of Work”
The deception of laziness is that it promises more pleasure than hard work. It will be quicker to simply memorize facts than understand the larger concepts behind those facts; it will feel better to watch the football game than it would to spend adequate time on my homework; it will be easier to only spend 30 minutes cleaning out the garage than two hours.
Continue reading “The Deception of Laziness”