My Christian faith is a vital part of who I am and hope to be. It is the anchor of my convictions and values. Which is why ‘Every Good Endeavour’ by Timothy Keller was such an amazing read for me.We are often faced with varying thoughts when it comes to work with one of the biggest questions being “How can I find fulfilment in my work?”
The author tries to tackle this and a lot of other issues from the perspective of the Christian faith. He explores the contradictions and emotions that work brings up in most christains.The book gives helpful ideas from the Bible on the mindset a christian should have towards their work.The author takes a very balanced approach on how we should approach work and even how we should relate to non-christians in the marketplace.
Please see below some of my favourite quotes from the book;
Work is not all there is to life. You will not have a meaningful life without work, but you cannot say that your work is the meaning of your life.
Work is an important part of life and the author addresses and gives biblical perspective on why we would want to work. He draws on the book of Genesis, where’s Gods creative design of the earth can be seen as a form of work. This is what God set up as an ideal for people to aspire to. Work was therefore not something done out of necessity, but something to contributing to the world and the good of others.At the same time, he notes that it is important that work is not seen as the only meaning of life but a means to glorify God and serve others.
There may be no better way to love your neighbor, whether you are writing parking tickets, software, or books, than to simply do your work. But only skillful, competent work will do.
Dorothy Sayers writes, The church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him to not be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours and to come to church on Sundays. What the church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables.
The two quotes above highlight a point which author emphasises in the book. Faith should influence how a Christian works which means the pursuit of excellence is paramount. The author highlights that the original design of God for work was for it to be a calling.He states that the way we approach our work can be a form of worship regardless of the kind of work we do. If we view through this lens it makes it easier to put in our best and serve others to the best of our ability.
It means that all jobs—not merely so-called “helping professions”—are fundamentally ways of loving your neighbor. Christians do not have to do direct ministry or nonprofit charitable work in order to love others through their jobs
Your daily work is ultimately an act of worship to the God who called and equipped you to do it—no matter what kind of work it is. In the liner notes to his masterpiece A Love Supreme, John Coltrane says it beautifully: This album is a humble offering to Him. An attempt to say “THANK YOU GOD” through our work, even as we do in our hearts and with our tongues. May He help and strengthen all men in every good endeavour.
There seems to be an assumption by most Christians that ‘ministry’ or certain types of altruistic work are the only ones that matter to God.He goes into a lot of historical context into why and how this mindset became pervasive in the church. The author gives us a different framework to allowing the Christian worldview shape how and why we do our work regardless of what sort of work we do.
These are just a few of the other 180 highlights and notes I made as I read through. There is so much to unpack in this book as it relates to faith and work that I don’t think this one book review can do justice to.I found another article that summarises the book quite well. The article gives you a bit more detail but I really do think this is a book that should be read to get a full and broader context for the subject matter.
This is the first book Kindle book I have finished in a long while and this is testament to how much I really enjoyed the content as I am very much a hard copy book girl.It was a really great read and is a book that I would highly recommend to any Christian who has ever wondered about the intersection of work and faith.
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Thank you so much for reading. I would love to hear from you if you have read the book or plan to so let’s chat in the comments.
Have a lovely Saturday and weekend.